Final Report of Independent Review Team on NOAA Fleet Recapitalization
NOAA currently operates and maintains a fleet of 16 ships with a goal of providing 235 days at sea per ship annually to meet its highest “priority one” ocean observation requirements. Eight ships in the fleet will either meet or exceed their design service life by 2028. Given the timeline of six to eight years to obtain funding, and design, build and commission new ships, NOAA has an urgent need to implement a recapitalization plan to replace up to eight ships by 2028 in order to avoid a gap in capacity and capability as ships reach the end of their design service lives. To assist in addressing the urgency of a potential gap in the NOAA fleet, identify issues with past plans, NOAA commissioned a senior‐level independent review team (IRT). This is the IRT's final report.