Birdon Group gets $191m for US Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat fleet refit

Asutralia-headquartered Birdon Group has received a contract worth up to US$ 191 million to carry out an upgrade of the US Coast Guard (USCG) fleet of 47-foot Motor Lifeboat (MLB) vessels.

The work will be carried out by the company’s US subsidiary Birdon America.

A total of 107 MLBs reaching the end of their original 25-year service life are to be upgraded.

The SLEP is planned to extend the working life of the Coast Guard fleet for 20 years and enhance key aspects of the MLB’s operational capability and performance.

The contract is for ten years under a five plus five arrangement. The work will be led from Birdon America’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado, and carried out in shipyards in Oregon and Virginia, servicing the Coast Guard fleets on the west and east coasts of the US respectively.

“The next generation of USCG vessels have very specific operational requirements, which have to be incorporated into the SLEP. By demonstrating beyond doubt that we could deliver on these requirements, Birdon presented as a compelling and low-risk option in the Coast Guard’s assessment of tenders,” Birdon CEO, Jamie Bruce, said

A key feature of Birdon’s tender was its procurement of one of only four commercially available prototypes of the 47-foot MLB. This vessel was used by Birdon as its risk reduction boat (RRB) and was modified to meet the technical specification required by the USCG. Birdon’s modifications were subjected to independent testing, including a rollover test, to demonstrate that they met or exceeded the USCG’s requirements.