In 2019, we posted that US Coast Guard was lastly getting an appropriation to construct three new heavy polar icebreakers, adopted by the development of three new medium polar icebreakers. The Coast Guard presently has one heavy icebreaker, USCGC Polar Star, which is 46 years outdated and has suffered repeated breakdowns. It has been saved working primarily by scavenging from a sister ship, Polar Sea which has not been in service since 2010. The Coast Guard additionally has one medium icebreaker, the ten-year-old USCGC Healy.
The primary new icebreaker was as a result of be delivered in 2024. Final fall, nonetheless, the Coast Guard introduced that delays as a result of pandemic and design-related work will push the primary new icebreaker to an anticipated 2025 supply date, as reported by Nationwide Protection Journal.
This raises the query as as to if the Polar Star, the one remaining US heavy icebreaker, will be capable to proceed working, even after a deliberate main overhaul. If the present supply date is met for the primary icebreaker, the Polar Star might be near half a century outdated when the brand new icebreaker goes into service.
The Arctic has acquired elevated strategic significance of late, as a result of impression of worldwide warming on Arctic navigation, in addition to by the shattering of worldwide cooperation within the area following the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine.