Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Drawing by North American Shipbuilding, 

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies

According to a recent article published in MILITARY .COM President Obama went to Alaska to talk climate change as he is wont to do regardless of facts , and his  need to do more to combat what he views as its destructive consequences. But while actually on the ground at his perceived critical ground of climate change he apparently was moved by some readily observable facts. 
The inescapable situation  he saw there demonstrated to him the need for new icebreakers that the U.S. Coast Guard has been requesting for years.Retired Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp told Congress last week of the President's epiphany ,asserting Presidential commitment to the concept of an expanded Coast Guard Arctic capable ice breaker fleet, or more properly, being down to just two operable ships, we might say flotilla.  .
Admiral Papp, as reported in this blog over a year ago, is now the U.S. special representative to the Arctic Council.  
The Coast Guard has exactly  two operable Arctic capable icebreakers, both of which are decades old.
Papp said Obama is committed to speeding up the construction of the icebreaker the administration agreed to in 2013, "and he's now talking plural in terms of icebreakers, and I am assured we're moving in that direction."
The icebreaker that has already gotten a White House commitment is expected to cost about $1 billion. We think the nation needs more than three and that they need not all be of the exact same capability or cost so much per unit. Admiral Zukunfit, the Coast Guard's Commandant believes the service has need of three heavy and three medium-sized icebreakers to cover American interest in the Arctic as well as the Antarctic, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. We don't think that is quite enough, more can be had if a price reduction can be found. When it comes to ice breaking ships for a nation with responsibilities in both polar regions more is better. 
 At the top of this page is an illustration of a medium Arctic capable Ice breaker available from North American Ship Building. This very capable Arctic capable Ice Breaker is a commercial design available for $200,000 million. For the price of one of the Coast Guard's billion dollar units we can probably get three quarters the mission capacity spread across five hulls. We're not saying that the Coast Guard should not build any billion dollar super breakers but we are saying that cheaper ships operating in a networked manner may be able to provide even the top of the line services while providing more available mission time, easier repair and service rotations, and the protections that always come with redundancy, a very basic military operational concept.


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