MarineLink.com reports testimony before Congress suggest that it might be possible to economically repair the Polar Sea (WAGB-11) in addition to the already planned repair of the Polar Star (WAGB-10).
Have to consider the source but,
“We do believe there is a need to build new heavy icebreakers, and we urge Congress and the Administration to work together to quickly authorize and fund such a project,” Whitcomb testified. But, he added, “for just over 1 percent of the cost of a new vessel, and at a two-year versus ten-year minimum horizon, the United States of America would have a second fully functioning heavy icebreaker able to complete vital missions under our own flag for at least a decade or more. “The hulls and frames of the Polar Star and the Polar Sea are perfectly sound and capable,” Whitcomb added. He estimated it would take $11 million to replace Polar Sea’s engine and bring the icebreaker to an operational level…Whitcomb is chief operating officer of Vigor Industrial, whose subsidiary Vigor Shipyards is restoring the Polar Star…”
Actually there was testimony from a second source.
The vessel was extensively overhauled in recent years, so other additional upgrades would be minimal, retired Coast Guard icebreaker commanding officer Rear Adm. Jeffrey Garrett told the committee.
I presume the Coast Guard has already looked at the possibility? Maybe there is just a perception that the Polar Class are money pits that will take funds from other programs?
US Coast Guard photo