Accession Number:

ADA543255

Title:

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2011-04-21

Pagination or Media Count:

62.0

Abstract:

Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guards two heavy polar icebreakers-Polar Star and Polar Sea-have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives, and neither is currently in operational condition. The Polar Star was placed in caretaker status on July 1, 2006. Congress in FY2009 and FY2010 provided funding to repair Polar Star and return it to service for 7 to 10 years the Coast Guard expects the reactivation project to be completed in December 2012. On June 25, 2010, the Coast Guard announced that Polar Sea had suffered an unexpected engine casualty and consequently would likely be unavailable for operation until at least January 2011. The Coast Guards third polar icebreaker-Healy-entered service in 2000. Compared to Polar Star and Polar Sea, Healy has less icebreaking capability it is considered a medium polar icebreaker, but more capability for supporting scientific research. The ship is used primarily for supporting scientific research in the Arctic. The Coast Guards FY2012 budget proposes decommissioning Polar Sea in FY2011 and transitioning its crew to the reactivated Polar Star. The resulting U.S. polar icebreaking fleet would consist of Polar Star and Healy.

Subject Categories:

  • Marine Engineering
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE