The Coast Guard, meanwhile, recently submitted to Congress a much
anticipated revised requirements document for its multibillion-dollar
Deepwater program. Under Deepwater, the Coast Guard will spend between
$19 billion to $24 billion during the next two decades to replace
its aging aircraft and ships. The program started in 1999. After
9/11, however, the Coast Guard’s expanded missions prompted
a lengthy review of the hardware requirements. Of note in the revised
plan is a dramatic change in the aircraft mix. The original idea
was to buy six C-130J transports and 35 C-235 maritime patrol aircraft.
The new blueprint calls for 22 C-130s and 20 C-235s. The updated
procurement plan also eliminates the Bell/Agusta AB139 helicopter
from the program.