The Pascagoula, Miss., company that won the contract to build the Coast Guard’s long-anticipated — and sorely needed — polar icebreaker announced partners in the project.
VT Halter Marine Inc. said Tuesday that it will team with Technology Associates, Inc., to design the ship — “an evolution from the mature ‘Polar Stern II’ currently in design and construction.”
Over two years participating in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Heavy Polar Icebreaker Industry Study, TAI “incrementally adjusted the design and conducted a series of five ship model tank tests to optimize the design.”
“The vessels are 460 feet in length with a beam of 88 feet overall, a full load of approximately 33,000 long tons at delivery,” the company said. “The propulsion will be diesel electric at over 45,200 horsepower and readily capable of breaking ice between six to eight feet thick. The vessel will accommodate 186 personnel comfortably for an extended endurance of 90 days.”
VT Halter Marine said it has also teamed with ABB/Trident Marine for its Azipod propulsion system, Raytheon for command and control systems integration, Caterpillar for the main engines, Jamestown Metal Marine for joiner package, and Bronswerk for the HVAC system.
The program is expected to bring an additional 900 workers to the Mississippi-based shipyard.
“The talented workforce of the VT Halter Marine team is proud to be part of this important effort to strengthen U.S. capability in the polar regions. This contract award is also testimony of U.S.-shipbuilding capability along the Gulf Coast and the great support Mississippi provides to its industries,” said Chief Executive Officer of VT Halter Marine Ronald Baczkowski.
The $745,940,860 fixed-price contract for design and construction of the Polar Security Cutter, or heavy icebreaker, could soar to $1,942,812,266 if included options are exercised.
Options would also extend the timetable of work on the icebreaker: Construction is on track to begin in 2021 and the ship is expected to be completed by June 2024, but if all options are exercised it should be done by November 2027. The contract includes financial incentives for accelerated delivery.