VT Halter Gets $1 Million For Icebreaker Study

The office of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) announced February 6 that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had awarded a $1 million contract to support production engineering studies for the U.S. Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter (PSC) acquisition to shipbuilder VT Halter Marine Inc., Pascagoula, Miss.

The award is part of a larger contract to analyze certain PSC production areas to determine ways to maintain an accelerated design and construction timeline for recapitalization of the Coast Guard heavy icebreaker fleet.

“This contract marks a significant milestone in the recapitalization of the Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker fleet,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.  “I’m proud a Mississippi shipyard is competing to build the PSC.  These ships will play a pivotal role maintaining U.S. sovereignty in the Arctic, a region critical to our national security.”

While other U.S. shipyards are also funded to participate in the study, the contract to VT Halter indicates it remains in competition to build PSCs.  The Coast Guard plans to build up to six new ice breaking ships capable of operating in polar regions.

Commissioned more than 40 years ago, the Polar Star is the only remaining operational heavy icebreaker in the Coast Guard fleet.