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CRS Report: Coast Guard Requests $750M in FY 2019 Funds for Polar Icebreaker Procurement Effort

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A Congressional Research Service report says the U.S. Coast Guard requested $750M in fiscal 2019 funds for a program to procure three new heavy polar icebreakers, USNI News reported Tuesday.

The USCG and the U.S. Navy issued a solicitation in March for the program and now estimate the total acquisition cost for the initiative to reach approximately $2.1B, or an average of approximately $700M per vessel, according to the CRS report obtained by USNI News.

The requested FY 2019 budget, along with the $359.6M in allocated FY 2018 funds, would fully fund the purchase of the first heavy polar icebreaker and partly fund the acquisition of the second ship in the program, the report noted.

The report also cited some program-related issues Congress needs to address in the coming fiscal year, such as modifying or clearing the FY 2019 funding request for the acquisition effort; choosing between a block buy contract and a contract with options; funding the program through the Navy’s shipbuilding account; and adopting a common design for both medium and heavy polar icebreakers.