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Polar Icebreaker

 

Status

VIDEO: Heavy Polar Icebreaker Model Testing Underway


The U.S. Navy, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard under an integrated program office, released a request for proposal (RFP) March 2, 2018, for the advance procurement and detail design for the Coast Guard’s heavy polar icebreaker, with options for detail design and construction for up to three heavy polar icebreakers. The RFP is available here.

The integrated polar icebreaker program office achieved a milestone Feb. 21, 2018, when it received approval from the Department of Homeland Security to advance to the next phase of the acquisition life cycle.

The U.S. Navy, in collaboration with the Coast Guard under an integrated program office, released a draft request for proposal Oct. 19, 2017, for detail design and construction of a heavy polar icebreaker. The draft RFP is available here.

The Coast Guard released its draft heavy polar icebreaker system specifications in a request for information (RFI) April 4, 2017. The request seeks questions, comments and feedback related to heavy polar icebreaker technology risks, sustainability, producibility and affordability. The RFI can be found here.

The Coast Guard on Feb. 22, 2017, awarded five firm fixed-price contracts  for heavy polar icebreaker design studies and analysis. The objective of the studies is to identify design and systems approaches to reduce acquisition cost and production timelines.

The polar icebreaker operational requirements document is available here.

  Program Information                       

  Resources                                      

  Related                                           

  • 399-Foot Icebreaker
  • 420-Foot Icebreaker
  • CGC Polar Star
  • CGC Healy
  • CGC Polar Sea

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Coast Guard is recapitalizing its polar icebreaker fleet to ensure continued access to both polar regions and support the country's economic, commercial, maritime and national security needs.

The operational polar icebreaking fleet currently includes one 399-foot heavy icebreaker (Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, commissioned in 1976) and one 420-foot medium icebreaker (Coast Guard Cutter Healy, commissioned in 2000). These cutters are designed for open-water icebreaking and feature reinforced hulls and specially angled bows.

Polar Star underwent a three-year reactivation and returned to operations in late 2013. Since then, Polar Star has completed five Operation Deep Freeze deployments to resupply McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The Coast Guard expects Polar Star to remain in service through approximately 2020 to 2023.

Why this program?

The United States has vital national interests in the polar regions. Polar icebreakers enable the U.S. to maintain defense readiness in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; enforce treaties and other laws needed to safeguard both industry and the environment; provide ports, waterways and coastal security; and provide logistical support – including vessel escort – to facilitate the movement of goods and personnel necessary to support scientific research, commerce, national security activities and maritime safety.

The Coast Guard needs six new polar icebreakers to ensure national year-round access to the polar regions and to provide self-rescue capability.

How is the Coast Guard addressing the need for more polar icebreaking capability?

The Coast Guard is in the Obtain phase of acquiring a new polar icebreaker. A request for proposal for the advance procurement and detail design for the heavy polar icebreaker, with options for detail design and construction of up to three heavy polar icebreakers was released March 2, 2018. A single contract will be awarded in fiscal year 2019. The delivery target for the lead ship is 2023.