Conceived as an innovative approach to Coast Guard procurement, Deepwater's emphasis on interoperability of communications and data sharing also will provide the maritime domain awareness vital to homeland security.
Five years ago, the U.S. Coast Guard saw the coming bloc obsolescence of its operating assets. Its platforms and equipment were being outstripped by technology available on the commercial market, and its maritime security and safety, interdiction, and numerous other military, law-enforcement, and humanitarian missions were becoming more difficult to execute. The Coast Guard was at risk of falling behind in the technological race with smugglers, terrorists, and others who would do us harm.
The service had three choices.