WICKER, HYDE-SMITH, & PALAZZO: MISSISSIPPI SHIPBUILDER TO CONSTRUCT NEXT GENERATION OF COAST GUARD HEAVY POLAR ICEBREAKERS
VT Halter Wins $745.9M Contract to Construct New Polar Security Cutter
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) today commended the Coast Guard’s choice of VT Halter Marine, Inc. to design and build the next generation of heavy polar icebreakers.
The Polar Security Cutter (PSC) will join the Coast Guard’s polar icebreaker fleet. The contract, initially valued at $745.9 million, is expected to bring millions of dollars in new investment to VT Halter’s Pascagoula shipyard, supporting the creation of up to 450 new jobs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“The Coast Guard’s heavy polar icebreakers are a critical part of our nation’s ability protect our interests in the polar regions,” said Wicker, who is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard. “Winning the contract to build the Polar Security Cutter is a great achievement for the talented shipbuilders at VT Halter. The ships we build in Mississippi will help close the gap in our polar defense and ensure American mariners cannot be denied access to the Arctic region by our adversaries.”
“I’m very pleased VT Halter and its shipbuilders won the selection to lead the charge in ongoing Homeland Security efforts to strengthen the Coast Guard icebreaker fleet and ensure U.S. sovereignty in the Arctic,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the Coast Guard. “These advanced ships will help address national security, law enforcement, and humanitarian missions in the polar regions.”
“As a member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I can tell you the need for this ship has been made clear through countless hearings and briefings. I have no doubt that VT Halter is the right shipyard to provide the best possible ship to our Coast Guard.” said Palazzo. “This vote of confidence underscores what I have said for years, Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is home to the Greatest Shipbuilders anywhere in the world.”
The Coast Guard plans to acquire six new PSCs to ensure national year-round access to the polar regions and to provide self-rescue capability.
The initial award to VT Halter is valued at $745.9 million and will support non-recurring engineering and detail design of the PSC class as well as procurement of long lead-time materials and construction of the first ship. The contract also includes options for the construction of two additional PSCs. If all options are exercised, the total contract is valued at $1.9 billion.
PSCs will enable the United States to maintain defense readiness in the Arctic and Antarctic regions; enforce treaties and other laws needed to safeguard both industry and the environment; secure ports, waterways, and coasts; and provide logistical support – including vessel escort – to facilitate the movement of goods and personnel necessary for scientific research, commerce, national security activities, and maritime safety.
For more information on the PSC program, click here.
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