Interview with Commandant

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Federal News Radio has an interview with the Commandant. There is a short written summary here or you can listen to it on their page or above. Some interesting developments with regard to drug interdiction in the Eastern Pacific. Sea story about actual employment of a sea based Unmanned Air System.

Interestingly he again refers to Russia arming Icebreakers so I think perhaps we may see some movement to arm or at least make provision for arming our new icebreakers.

3 thoughts on “Interview with Commandant

  1. The only armed icebreakers Russia is going to have in the near future are Ilya Muromets (Project 21180 auxiliary icebreaker; “fitted for but not with” a deck gun and, reportedly, containerized Club-K cruise missiles) and the Ivan Papanin -class (Project 23550 patrol vessel; 76 mm deck gun, Club-K cruise missiles and potentially something else). While Project 23550 is apparently designed as a naval vessel at least from the outside, based on the drawings Project 21180 is a “militarized” civilian vessel with limited “combat survivability”. Both vessels have relatively low independent icebreaking capability, reportedly about 1 m (3.3 ft). All the heavier icebreakers are purely civilian vessels – they don’t even have space reservations for weapon systems.

    Of course, if you believe the marketing material, you can fit the containerized Club-K cruise missiles on anything that floats…

    • My own feeling is that we should have at least the capability of adding robust self defense capability similar to that we have on other important naval auxiliaries including LPD which currently have SeaRAM and 30mm.

      On the other hand the Russians putting missiles and guns on a small number of small icebreakers does not add a lot to their already impressive ability to wage war in the Arctic. Missile carrying submarines and aircraft are much more important.

      • Obviously there are more qualified persons when it comes to assessing future USCG needs (present company included), so my comment was directed towards the repeated claims of Russia militarizing their vast icebreaker fleet. It’s true that the early Arktika-class nuclear-powered icebreakers (Arktika, Sibir, Rossiya and Sovietskiy Soyuz) could be converted to auxiliary cruisers with deck guns and CIWS, but the first four vessels of the class have been decommissioned and the two post-Soviet examples (Yamal and 50 Let Pobedy) were instead fitted for carrying tourists to the North Pole. The others were built as civilian vessels with no provisions whatsoever for installing military hardware and sensors. At most, they could act as platforms carrying “containerized” systems that would rely on external fire control, but that applies to pretty much everything capable of carrying a 40-foot shipping container.

        Of course, one could say it’s not the icebreaker one should be wary of, but the nuclear-powered battlecruiser following in its wake…

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