The Integrated Deepwater System Program (IDS Program), or Deepwater, is the 25-year program to recapitalize the United States Coast Guard's aircraft, ships, logistics, and command and control systems. The $24 billion program includes equipment that will be used across all missions. This program is under the supervision of CG-9.


The Coast Guard's Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) is a critical multi-year program to modernize and replace the Coast Guard’s aging ships and aircraft, and improve command and control and logistics systems. It is the largest acquisition in the history of the Coast Guard. Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) has been managing the IDS contract since it was awarded in June, 2002.

When complete, the interoperable IDS system will include three classes of new cutters and their associated small boats, a new fixed-wing manned aircraft fleet, a combination of new and upgraded helicopters, and both cutter-based and land-based unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). All of these highly capable assets are linked with Command, Control, Communications and Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, and are supported by an integrated logistics regime. For more information on each of these assets, please refer to our media kit.

Headquartered in Rosslyn, VA, the ICGS core leadership team is managing fully integrated teams, virtually working “side-by-side” within common processes and performance management systems. These working teams are co-located in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington D.C. Full participation by the Coast Guard is built into every level and function within the ICGS team.[1]


The program originated approximately 10 years ago when the Coast Guard recognized that it needed a long-term strategy to recapitalize its inventory of aging cutters, aircraft, and supporting systems. In 1993, the Commandant’s Office of Operations formally acknowledged that a significant block obsolescence problem existed for the Service’s 93 Deepwater cutters and 206 aircraft. Coast Guard cutters and aircraft perform a “community policing” function within the maritime domain. By serving as “cops on the beat,” Coast Guard crews identify anomalies and deter threats, but unfortunately current assets are routinely unavailable, lack the capabilities necessary to perform homeland security missions effectively, and are experiencing declining readiness due to obsolete and worn out equipment. A Coast Guard evaluation determined that seven of the Coast Guard's nine classes of deepwater assets would reach the end of their planned service life over the next 15 years. As a comparison, with an average age of over 30 years, the Coast Guard’s fleet of High and Medium Endurance Cutters is older than all but two of 42 worldwide naval fleets of similar size and mission.[2]


These are the proposed acquisitions/developments to be made under the Deepwater program:



  • Long-Range Surveillance Planes (LRS) HC-130J
  • Multi-Mission Cutter Helicopters (MCH) MH-65C
  • Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft (MRS) HC-144A
  • High Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HAEUAV)
  • Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle (VUAV)


The C4ISR program to in place to revamp/update the communications systems within the current and future Coast Guard fleet.


Short answer: This is a joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin

Longer answer: In June 2002, Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) was awarded the Integrated Deepwater System contract to modernize the United States Coast Guard’s Deepwater forces – the ships, aircraft, command and control, and logistics systems that protect the United States and support the Coast Guard's many missions, key among which is domestic Homeland Security. This program’s total potential value over three decades has been estimated at approximately $17 billion. ICGS, which is a co-equal partnership of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, has the full commitment and necessary resources from both corporations to ensure meeting or exceeding the Coast Guard’s expectations.

Deepwater is the largest recapitalization effort in the history of the Coast Guard and will involve the multi-assest acquisition of ships, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned surveillance aircraft, and also involve the performance upgrade of existing cutters and helicopters, in addition to systems for communications, surveillance and command and control (C4ISR) for shoreside as well as offshore capability enhancement.

Headquartered in Rosslyn, VA, the ICGS core leadership team is managing a fully integrated team operating within common processes and performance management systems. Full participation by the Coast Guard is built into every level and function within the ICGS team. Key to the ICGS Deepwater program plan is an "Open Business Model" that invites participation and competition throughout the lifetime of the program. ICGS has and intends to continue to take advantage of the dynamics of the market and seek vendors and suppliers that can provide best value and performance, primarily at the subsystem and component level. This has been designed to occur without changing the joint venture structure.

ICGS brings to the Coast Guard the benefit of a single contractual point of contact responsible for delivering all operational assets and capabilities. This single systems integrator brings expertise in managing important program elements on a national scale, including overall program management and systems integration, cutter and aircraft construction, C4ISR development and full logistics support. ICGS is explicitly responsible to the Coast Guard for total system integration performance – how the system assets

Joint venture partners Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman have been long-time teammates on programs of national significance. One example is the U.S. Navy’s fleet of Aegis cruisers and destroyers. Both have been partners on the Deepwater effort since day one and established the ICGS joint venture formally in June 2001.[3]

Problems with the program

Need's to be finished…

Funding and management issues
Lockheed whistleblower
Integrated Deepwater Program Reform Act

1. IGS Deepwater Website:
3. IGS Deepwater Website:
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