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Jul 28 16 5:38 PM
Oct 10 16 5:38 PM
In a Sept. 20 letter to House Republican leadership, Hunter, as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, asked for extra money for the US Coast Guard to lease or buy a vessel while debate continues about building a new ship. Hunter claims the cost to charter an existing vessel, called the Aiviq, would be $33 million per year to lease and $150 million to buy.
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The Senate has appropriated $1 billion in 2017 for the acquisition of a heavy icebreaker, and Hunter said in the letter he was optimistic the Coast Guard would receive full funding. Hunter’s idea is to pursue a block buy of at least two vessels and use the money as a “substantial down payment” to more rapidly design an icebreaker and buy lead materials.
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The Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker inventory consists of a single operational vessel, the Polar Star, which is 40 years old. Its other heavy icebreaker, the Polar Sea, is inactive. Lawmakers have expressed concerns the US will be overmatched in the Arctic by Russia's growing icebreaker fleet.
Oct 11 16 2:58 AM
Oct 28 16 3:43 AM
U.S. Coast Guard released a request for information (RFI) for the polar
icebreaker acquisition program which aims to boost the service’s
The Coast Guard currently has only two operational icebreakers, the
1976-commissioned Polar Star and the younger cutter Healy, commissioned
in 2000. The Polar Star is expected to remain in service through
approximately 2020 to 2023 after it underwent a three-year reactivation
Another heavy icebreaker, Polar Sea, was placed in commissioned,
inactive status by the service in 2011 an the Coast Guard is evaluating
options to reactivate the ship, parts from which were used to reactivate
The request that
was issued October 26 seeks feedback on the program’s notional
acquisition approach and schedule, and includes a draft statement of
work for industry studies on heavy polar icebreaker technology risks,
sustainability, producibility and affordability.
Following the completion of the industry studies, the Coast Guard
plans to release a request for proposals for detail design and
construction of a heavy polar icebreaker in fiscal year 2018. The
service plans to begin production activities in 2020.
The Coast Guard said it needs at least two new heavy icebreakers to ensure access to both polar regions.
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