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Acquisition and Operation of Polar Icebreakers: Fulfilling the Nation’s Needs

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On July 11, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Polar Icebreaker Cost Assessment released a letter report that advises the U.S. Congress on strategies to minimize life-cycle costs of polar icebreaker acquisition and operations. The Committee recommends the number and type of polar icebreakers to fund and an acquisition strategy that achieves a lower cost.

The Committee developed an independent cost estimate using available concept designs to determine if the U.S. Coast Guard’s existing cost estimates for heavy and medium icebreakers are reasonable. It also compared operating costs of the current fleet to the prospective operating costs of new vessels. The Committee recommends a science-ready design for the new icebreakers and the use of an enhanced maintenance program to ensure continuity of operations for existing icebreakers.

This letter report is mandated by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015, and sponsored by the USCG. View the press release.

View a video summarizing the report findings:

On July 25, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing that examines the U.S. Coast Guard’s infrastructure and acquisition needs, and includes the testimony of Rear Admiral Richard D. West (Navy Ret.) who served as Chair for the Committee on Polar Icebreaker Cost Assessment. Witness statements are available online, and the video of the hearing is below:

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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Acquisition and Operation of Polar Icebreakers: Fulfilling the Nation’s Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24834.

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8.5 x 11
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/24834
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Video: Congressional Hearing - Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Coast Guard Sea, Land, and Air Capabilities, Part II

U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation; July 25, 2017

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