U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, yesterday announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $1 million contract to shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. for work to support production engineering studies for the U.S. Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) acquisition program.
According to the Senator’s office, the award is part of a larger contract to analyze certain PSC production areas to determine ways to maintain an accelerated design and construction timeline for recapitalization of the U.S. Coast Guard heavy icebreaker fleet.
“This contract marks a significant milestone in the recapitalization of the Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker fleet,” said Hyde-Smith, who now serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. “I’m proud a Mississippi shipyard is competing to build the PSC. These ships will play a pivotal role maintaining U.S. sovereignty in the Artic, a region critical to our national security.”
While other U.S. shipyards are also funded to participate in the study, says the Senator’s office, the contract to VT Halter indicates it remains in competition to build PSCs. The Coast Guard plans to build up to six new ice breaking ships capable of operating in polar regions.
This contract is funded through FY2018 appropriations, which included funding for detailed PSC design.