CG Polar Star is in really rough shape

StPaulDad

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Feb 24, 2017
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It isn't news to anyone around here, and they're finally approved money for a replacement, but the current state of the Coast Guard's last ice breaker is dire. The LA Times wrote up their cruise from last winter, and the list of mishaps, breakdowns and equipment failures is shameful.

The Polar Star suffered ship-wide power outages twice over the next 11 days. Steel bars meant to stabilize propeller shafts broke so many times that engineers ran out of the 8-inch bolts needed to repair them. (South Pole station) McMurdo sent four more bolts in a helicopter, which set down on the ice because the ship's flight deck was no longer certified for landings. A crane lowered Jopling in a "man basket" to walk out and retrieve them.

On Jan. 24, the Polar Star finally docked at McMurdo. That night, in light of the Coast Guard's continued lack of pay, scientists passed the hat for a $1,500 bar tab at the station's three watering holes.​

https://www.military.com/daily-news...l-neglected-icebreaker-its-falling-apart.html
 

LineInTheSand

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The 240’ Mackinaw on the Great Lake and the 140’ ice breaking tugs. But none of them can do what the Polar Star or Healy do.
 

Impulsive

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The current state of the CG's Icebreaking Fleet is dismal. Russia has over 50 "Polar" Icebreakers, some of them nuclear powered. And we have ONE "Heavy" Icebreaker, The Polar Star. The Healy which is like fifteen years newer is only a "Medium" Icebreaker, meaning it cannot do South Pole trips. So the ONLY heavy icebreaker in the US Fleet is approaching 50 years old, and here sister ship is used as a parts depot, but when those parts run out, then what? It would be a disaster if the Polar Sea actually got stuck because of mechanical failure or hull breach and needed help, we could not help her and her crew, and should make replacing her immediately priority number one!

The 140's are going in for Mid-Life and need major upgrades and refurbishment, and are also needing to be programmed for replacement.

With the amount of commerce that counts on the CG Icebreakers, Congress needs to act to upgrade and to protect shipping and our National Security, and act fast!
 
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With the amount of commerce that counts on the CG Icebreakers, Congress needs to act to upgrade and to protect shipping and our National Security, and act fast!
The Coast Guard has awarded a contract to build a new Polar Ice Breaker. Construction is supposed to start in two years.
 

Impulsive

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The Detail Design and Construction contract has been awarded to VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula MS as of April 23rd of this year. The initial award is for $745.9 million for non-recurring engineering and design, and construction of ONE ship (not to include $333 million for government furnished equipment). As of this time program funds are not allocated to building of the additional two projected ships, which would bring the total cost to $2.95 Billion. The ONE good thing is this an "Integrated" Program, Navy and CG. This should help in the event that DHS does not get full funding, the Navy is in the position to make the acquisitions and then transfer the PSC's to the CG.

It will be interesting to see the design and capabilities of these new Cutters, initial reports are 460ft long, 88ft beam, and 22,900 tons v 14,000 tons, 399ft long and 83ft beam for the Polar Class . Hopefully they will surpass the "Polar" Class Cutters in capabilities and defense type of operations. The US right now is so far behind the Russians, we may never catch up. Three new vessels, while retiring one and the other (The Healy) classified as a "medium icebreaker" meaning it is not capable of southern ocean operations, still allows for only two icebreakers to be available at a time, and possibly one for southern operations. The SLEP program for the Polar Star, is supposed to be done over the next two drydock availabilities, but will only extend the hull (the weak link) until possibly 2024. There are currently no provisions for upgrading the engineering plant or related systems, which are is a dismal state currently, only fixing what is broken, not what may break next deployment.
 

sheriff3

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$1500 bar tab? In the Marines that is considered the first round!
 

USCGA13STN

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$1500 bar tab? In the Marines that is considered the first round!
Well when beers at Gallaghers are .50 cents a pop... that can do some decent damage.

... [her] sister ship is used as a parts depot, but when those parts run out, then what?
I don't disagree with your overall premise. The situation in the icebreaker fleet is dire, however a point of clarification here. In 2013 Congress halted the ability of the Coast Guard to continue taking parts from SEA to put on the STAR in an effort to preserver the other cutter in the event they needed to pull it out of mothballs. Source - I was on the STAR during the last week we were allowed to take parts off the SEA and was a part of the mass stripping of parts.
 

Impulsive

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Well when beers at Gallaghers are .50 cents a pop... that can do some decent damage.



I don't disagree with your overall premise. The situation in the icebreaker fleet is dire, however a point of clarification here. In 2013 Congress halted the ability of the Coast Guard to continue taking parts from SEA to put on the STAR in an effort to preserver the other cutter in the event they needed to pull it out of mothballs. Source - I was on the STAR during the last week we were allowed to take parts off the SEA and was a part of the mass stripping of parts.
Thanks for the update...:) No matter the state of both the "Polar" icebreakers, we (the US) need to fund the CG to build more than just three "heavy" icebreakers. Our enemies have armed nuclear powered icebreakers, and numerous state of the art "Polar" class icebreakers. If Congress was willing to put the $$ into the "Polar" Class to make them viable for maybe 10-15 more years, I would say "YEA!!!!" we are finally doing something. But when reports come back and are made public that the ONE Polar Cutter is unable to steam for more than a few days without a casualty, and that ships company is basically required to fabricate and install parts and make hull repairs underway is NOT satisfactory!!!
 
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