The U.S. Coast Guard is set to award the contract for the first Polar Security Cutter in the very near future.
Giving the 2019 State of the Coast Guard address at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro, Calif., yesterday, Coast Guard Commandant Karl Schultz called the heavy icebreaker acquisition “critical to our national security and prosperity in the high-latitudes.”
“This is not lost on the Administration and the United States Congress, who provided the remaining $675 million dollars to fully fund the first Polar Security Cutter and provided the initial long lead materials for the second Polar Security Cutter,” he said. “As we build these new icebreakers, I will continue to advocate for what I call the ‘6-3-1 Approach.’ We need six icebreakers, at least three of which must be Polar Security Cutters, and today, I am proud to say we will award the construction contract this spring for our first one.”
Spring started this past Wednesday, March 20.
Earlier in the address, Admiral Schultz said that the Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPC) and Polar Security Cutters are “our top investment priorities” and noted that the OPC program, has already started construction.
“The OPC program of record is set to deliver 25 hulls and that fleet will eventually comprise over 70% of our offshore presence,” he said.
In other good news for shipbuilders, Admiral Schultz noted that “over the next decade, we will be replacing our fleet of 35 aging inland river tenders, averaging 55 years old, with a new Waterways Commerce Cutter.”
Download the text of the State of the Coast Guard Address HERE