U.S. Coast Guard cutters and response boats are in high demand in nations where smaller vessels often make up the bulk of a country’s
naval fleet, and the service is feeding that demand
through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
Revenue from overseas sales, which averaged $10
million a year from 2002-2005, has increased during the
last five years to an average of $106 million per year.
“FMS helps the Coast Guard and international maritime partners to collectively achieve our shared maritime governance goals of safe transportation, clean
seas and secure and efficient movement of commerce,”
Coast Guard Commandant ADM Robert J. Papp Jr. told
During his four-year tenure as commandant, the
Coast Guard’s FMS program, which is administered
through the Department of Defense, has blossomed.
It was established in 1997 to offer excess and new-construction defense assets for sale outside the United
States. The Coast Guard, to date, has delivered 424
platforms to more than 36 countries.
Tod Reinert, program manager for the Coast Guard’s
Office of International Acquisition Programs, saw sales
decrease last year to $48 million, although the Coast
Guard set a record for the number of platforms sold in
fiscal 2013 with 64 purchased by 13
countries. He said he expects the
dollar figure to increase in fiscal
2014, which began Oct. 1, to
around $75 million.
In fiscal 2010, the program sold
$264 million worth of Coast Guard
platforms, the highest sales year to
date, highlighted by a $157.9 mil-
lion maritime patrol aircraft sale to
Mexico. A typical year would see
business dominated by response
boat sales, which average in price,
depending on the platform, from
$300,000 to $2.5 million.
“There’s a lot of new interest in the [45-foot] Response Boat-Mediums,” Reinert said.
As with any business, he said, sales are cyclical. At
the end of the day, it is about the dollar value and
quantity of platforms sold. Reinert said a good example
of this are ongoing FMS talks with Saudi Arabia for a
number of response boats.
“That could spike the [sales] number in the next
year or two,” he said.
The Middle East as a whole has taken an interest in
the 45-foot boats.
“It is a fairly high-end platform in terms of range,
capability, and it has a little bit of a price tag associated
with it, and those are the countries that can afford it
and have the requirement to be out there in high seas
in and around the Arabian Gulf,” Reinert said.
He noted other platforms are being sold to Caribbean and South American nations, as well as in western
Africa — specifically Nigeria — and Yemen, Bangladesh
and the Philippines.
While often thought of as the manager of the Coast
Guard’s FMS program, the Office of International Acquisition Programs also handles a growing a portfolio of
Excess Defense Articles (EDA) projects outside of the
FMS program, including the recent transfers of 378-foot
Supply & Demand
Coast Guard FMS program continues to increase its portfolio
By JOHN C. MARCARIO, Associate Editor
The international interest in the capabilities of U.S. Coast Guard
assets are reflected in the burgeoning business of the service’s
Foreign Military Sales program.
■ Total sales over the last five fiscal years averaged $106 million.
■ The service has received strong interest in its 45-foot
Response Boat-Medium platform from Middle East countries,
specifically Saudi Arabia.
■ The Coast Guard sold a record 64 platforms in fiscal 2013.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 42 SEAPOWER / MARCH 2014