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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

US Issues Draft RFP for New Antarctic Research Vessel

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 16, 2023

Rendering of an Antarctic Research Vessel. (Image: NSF, illustrated by Gibbs & Cox, a Leidos Company)

Rendering of an Antarctic Research Vessel. (Image: NSF, illustrated by Gibbs & Cox, a Leidos Company)

The U.S.' National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a draft request for proposal (RFP) for its Antarctic Research Vessel (ARV) Integrator requirement.

According to NSF, the draft represents a functionally complete RFP with sections A through M, released to provide transparency and early exposure for what is a robust requirement.

NSF said it seeks feedback from industry on the whole of the RFP, be that technical or contractual requirements, instructions to offerors and evaluation criteria, or small business engagement. By inviting questions NSF desires to enhance mutual understanding by reducing ambiguity, the agency said.

NSF's ARV project aims to produce a modern icebreaking research vessel coupled with modern scientific tools and enhanced capabilities compared to those of NSF's chartered vessel, RV Nathaniel B. Palmer. Ensuring uninterrupted science operation in the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic for decades to come, the new research vessel will support the NSF's science mission goals by increasing access to ice protected hard-to-reach study sites, allowing for longer mission durations, and delivering more scientists and equipment to the Antarctic theatre.

The new vessel, if funded, is expected to be delivered by mid-2031.

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