Coast Guard Commandant: More Large Cutters, Icebreakers Likely as Capabilities Become Evident

Discussion in 'U.S. Coast Guard' started by AMDR, Dec 16, 2015.

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  1. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

    ARLINGTON, Va. — The Coast Guard expects to begin construction of its largest acquisition, the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), within 18 to 24 months and likely is to add more to the program of record as the cutters demonstrate their worth. Similarly, the service is negotiating procurement of a ninth National Security Cutter (NSC).

    SHIP_CGC_NSC_Bertholf_Machinery_Trials_Rear_lg.jpg

    Speaking Dec. 15 at a Special Topic Breakfast sponsored by the Navy League and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Coast Guard Commandant ADM Paul F. Zukunft said the service expects to “cut steel” on the lead OPC by 2017 with one of the designs proposed by the three competing shipbuilders. The service plans to acquire 25 OPCs to replace the Famous- and Reliance-class Medium-Endurance Cutters, but may acquire more.


    More Here: http://www.seapowermagazine.org/stories/20151215-zukunft.html
     
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  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    @AMDR how much of US territorial waters freeze? I know the US has commitments in both the Arctic and South Pacific, hence the need for a new class of icebreakers to replace the existing USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30), which is located in the Great Lakes region and thus doesn't see Arctic or Antarctic ice:

    [​IMG]

    And USCGC Healy (WAGB-20), which does make it to non-US waters:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One ocean going icebreaker for a nation the size of the US doesn't seem realistic, especially when the US has commitments in waters far from home too.

    We have one Icebreaker, but our waters don't freeze, so it's just for Arctic patrols only - this is KV Svalbard:
    [​IMG]

    Doing some icebreaking:

    [​IMG]

    How much of US territorial waters freeze? And how often does the US Coast Guard frequent Arctic or Antarctic waters? Is there a Coast Guard station in Northern Alaska?
     
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  3. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    There is an annual Coast Guard exercise "Arctic Shield" held in the northern waters off Alaska down to the Bering strait. As to how frequent they go up there on a regular basis I have no clue, but there are a few aviation detachments that forward-deploy to Barrow and Deadhorse on a seasonal schedule from Kodiak.

    http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007...s-forward-operating-location-in-Barrow-Alaska

    Arctic Shield 2015 : http://www.uscg.mil/d17/Arctic Shield 2015.asp

    As part of operation Arctic Shield 2015, the Coast Guard will deploy cutters, aircraft, and personnel to the region to engage in operations encompassing a variety of Coast Guard missions in the vicinity of the Bering Strait, Deadhorse, North Slope, and the Northern Alaska Outer Continental Shelf.

    The Arctic Shield 2015 objectives are to:

    • Perform Coast Guard missions and activities in the Arctic
    • Enhance Arctic Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
    • Broaden partnerships
    • Enhance and improve preparedness, prevention, and response capabilities
    I can't find an exact number on how much of US territorial water freezes per year, but there is a neat map that shows you the limits of the US EEZ, and it looks like there is a huge amount of it that would freeze.

    http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/csdl/mbound.htm
     
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  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    I guess since the US is also a claimant to parts of the Arctic, alongside the likes of Norway, Russia and Canada, they actually have a lot of waters that freeze.

    [​IMG]

    Can't believe I forgot this:D

    Well it looks like the US isn't as unprepared as is often said then? Of the Arctic claimants, the US is said to be one of the least prepared, as is normal it looks like the US is just going about its business quietly and letting others think they're unprepared.

    Looks like Healy was in Arctic waters during this years Arctic Challenge:

    [​IMG]

    No updates on the next-gen icebreaker right?
     
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  5. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    Only info I can find regarding the next-gen ice breaker comes from the official USGC website. Like everything else unfortunately it is a problem of funding I guess, but with Russian upping the tempo in the arctic and defense funding getting back on track somewhat, I expect they should make some good progress on it in the next few years.

    From: http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/icebreaker/

    How is the Coast Guard addressing the need for more polar icebreaking capability?
    Polar Star underwent a three-year reactivation and returned to operations in late 2013. Since then, Polar Star has completed two 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.

    The Coast Guard is addressing the need for future icebreaking capability through an ongoing acquisition. A new, heavy polar icebreaker will be designed to meet the requirements of multiple government stakeholders that require access to and presence within the polar regions. In order to appropriately fund the acquisition of a new polar icebreaker, a “whole-of-government” funding approach is necessary to acquire this national asset.



    Edit: More info. 2024-2025 is the expected in-service date for the new icebreaker, provided that procurement goes smoothly in 2020.

    http://news.usni.org/2015/12/15/doc...-s-coast-guard-polar-icebreaker-modernization
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
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