Friday, September 16, 2005

Deepwater & the new ADIZ Patrol

ADIZ Patrol Near Rhode Island
Originally uploaded by radioflyer7.
Another typical day for the US Coast Guard: The ADIZ, or Air Defense Identification Zone, is the first line of defense from the international waters along the US coast line.

Perhaps you've heard of "Deepwater," the Coast Guard's attempt at modernizing it's offshore capabilities, in the interest of national security, of course. The project is huge and involves nearly all of the Coast Guard's money for major acquisition over the next 20-plus years. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to be built (including shore facilities... with the possible exception of those that suffered Katrina's wrath).

But that's okay, because Deepwater is going to use innovative solutions to long-term problems. It is the Coast Guard's answer to everything.

((Don't be content with only a teaser of this post;
read more of this musing.))

Here's what the Coast Guard has to say about Deepwater:
To continue to meet America’s 21st century maritime threats and challenges, the Coast Guard initiated the Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) Program, the largest and most innovative acquisition in the Coast Guard's history. The IDS is not just “new ships and aircraft,” but an integrated approach to upgrading existing assets while transitioning to newer, more capable platforms with improved systems for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and innovative logistics support. This new "system of systems" will significantly contribute to the Coast Guard's maritime domain awareness, as well as the improved ability to intercept, engage, and deter those activities that pose a direct challenge to U.S. sovereignty and security. Deepwater will provide the means to extend our layered maritime defenses from our ports and coastal areas hundreds of miles to sea.

The IDS Program focuses on system-wide capabilities and not assets. The Coast Guard began the design process with the goal to acquire the performance capabilities required to perform the full range of Coast Guard deepwater missions. The Coast Guard is focusing on the overall required capabilities rather than the individual assets. This performance-based acquisition approach gave industry the flexibility to propose the optimal mix of assets necessary to meet the needs of the Coast Guard for Deepwater missions.

Three competing industry consortium teams bid on the Integrated Deepwater System contract. The Coast Guard selected the contractor who offered the best value from among the premiere system integration experts in the world, forming a partnership to successfully deliver the IDS. Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, provided the best value to the Coast Guard and was selected as the Service’s industry partner, or the Systems Integrator.

Deepwater is a long-term acquisition program, but work to upgrade existing assets and acquire the first new aircraft and ships has already begun. According to the notional IDS implementation plan, the system will be completed in approximately 20 years.
It turns out, actually, that they've found a way to miniturize things; as the photo shows, Deepwater is going to give us mini-helicopters... which we're going to be able to fly over charts, rather than real water and land.

And that, my friends, is how we will patrol the ADIZ. We will simulate rescues, patrols, and are other missions, allowing the real work to be be left undone.

Afterall, that's the federal government way, isn't it?

1 comment:

  1. That helo is so small...does the hoist really work, or can't you find some one with hends small enough to make up the cable and spool? LOL