Last Update: September 21, 2012
RCRV Table of Contents:
RCRV Solicitation for Design and Operation, April 2012 - NSF RCRV Soliciation along with Questions & Answers
RCRV Intent for Solicitation, December 2010 - NSF Announcement for Intent to Issue Soliciation along with Questions & Answers
Background on Regional Class Vessels:
In 2001, the Federal agencies, through the Federal Oceanographic Facilities Committee (FOFC), and with input from the academic community (via UNOLS), produced a long-range Fleet plan entitled "Charting the Future for the National Academic Research Fleet" <http://www.geo-prose.com/projects/fleet_rpt_1.html>. Over the next 20 years, the Plan calls for a fleet that is more capable than at present, but that has fewer vessels. In the Plan, four classes of ships (Global, Ocean, Regional and Local) were used to describe the future fleet. Regional Class ships will continue to work in and near the continental margins and coastal zone, but with improved technology and more science berths than in current, comparably sized vessels.
Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV) - Phase I Shipbuilding program
On 27 April 2006, contract awards were made to two companies as a result of a NAVSEA solicitation N00024-05-R-2230 for Phase I of the Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV) shipbuilding program on behalf of (and to support) the efforts of the National Science Foundation. Phase I awards were made to Dakota Creek Industries, 820 4th St, Anacortes, WA 98221 and Nichols Brothers Shipbuilders, 5400 S. Cameron Rd, P.O. Box 580, Freeland, WA 98249.
The RCRV program is a phased approach where Phase I is preliminary/contract design and Phase II is detail design and construction. These Phase I contracts are for a twelve month preliminary/contract design period and have a firm fixed price of approximately $1 Million each. Based on proposals submitted by the two Phase I Contractors, a single Phase II contract for detailed design and construction is anticipated to be awarded at the end of Phase I (second quarter CY2007). The Phase II contract will be for a lead ship with options for up to two more. The Regional Class Research Vessels will be modern monohull research ships capable of integrated, interdisciplinary, oceanographic research in areas from shallow coastal bays and estuaries out to deeper water.
Priorization of Regional Class Science Mission Requirements
In 2004, at the request of the National Science Foundation, UNOLS was tasked with providing relative priorities for some of the Science Mission Requirements (SMR) for new Regional Class research vessels. A report with UNOLS recommendations was requested by mid to late June 2004. A Regional Class Advisory Committee was formed to review the relevant SMR elements, seek community input and to draft a set of recommendations that would be provided to NSF by UNOLS. The report to the National Science Foundation, Division of Ocean Sciences, Integrated Facilities Section by the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) prepared by the Regional Class Advisory Committee (RCAC) and approved by the Fleet Improvement Committee and UNOLS Council, dated July 1, 2004 is available and can download as a PDF file at:
<Regional_SMR_Priorities.pdf> (322 KB)
Information about the prioritization project is available at <Regional_SMR_Priorities.html>.
Using the FOFC characteristics as guidance, the community worked to establish Science Mission Requirements (SMRs) for the Regional Class. The SMRs were finalized in 2003 and have formed the basis for the Regional Class design effort. These SMRs are available at: <rcsmr_version1.html>