New Canadian Ice Breaker Cost Estimate to $1.3B

The Calgary Herald is reporting that the Canadian Government has raised the estimated price of their new Heavy Icebreaker, the Diefenbaker, from $720M to $1.3B (Canadian). Not a lot of difference in the value of the Canadian and US dollars these days, so it make the Coast Guard’s estimate of close to $1B look…well, reasonable.

The two classes of icebreakers are very much contemporaries. The Polar Star is projected to last only until 2020. It is not yet clear when a new USCG icebreaker will enter service since its procurement is only in the preliminary stages, and  there has been no significant funding for it. Plus the Coast Guard is contending they will need funding assistance from other agencies to make construction possible.

“…a scheduling conflict at the shipyard with the navy’s new resupply ships means work on the Diefenbaker won’t start until at least 2018, and the icebreaker won’t be ready until 2022.”

Perhaps an opportunity for some cooperation?

4 thoughts on “New Canadian Ice Breaker Cost Estimate to $1.3B

  1. As long as cooperation doesn’t mean relying on Canada to build ours. Jobs issue aside, I don’t have a ton of confidence in the Canadian shipbuilding industry’s ability to deliver the Heavy Icebreaker anywhere near time or budget goals, and this latest bump reinforces that lack of confidence.

    • Don’t think there is much chance of that. US Congressmen see ship building as a jobs program. They will want it for their constituents.

      At one time the Canadians did build a US designed Wind Class icebreaker.

  2. $1B is still not reasonable for a polar icebreaker of that size and power. Where is all that money going to? Toilets of solid gold? It’s not a warship, just a thick metal tub full of engines.

  3. For the record, the Finns are building a new icebreaker for the Northern Baltic service in the coming years at a cost of about US$170 million. Of course it won’t be a polar icebreaker, but that’s still quite a difference to the proposed US and Canadian icebreakers. Even without taking the “economy of scale” into account, paying almost six times as much for a bit bigger, more powerful and stronger polar icebreaker sounds a bit too much.

    Of course the Russians are spending that kind of figures on a new polar icebreaker, but the high price tag is partly explained by the fact that it will be the biggest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker ever built whereas the new Western polar icebreakers will likely feature more conventional power plant.

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