VT Halter Marine’s Ron Baczkowski Describes Proposed USCG Polar Icebreaker

Jeff Brody
Ron Baczkowski

Ron Baczkowski, CEO of VT Halter Marine, said the company’s proposed heavy polar icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard is based on a hull of German research vessel Polar Stern II, USNI News reported Wednesday.

VT Halter Marine is the shipbuilding arm of ST Engineering’s Vision Technologies Systems and won a potential $1.94B contract in April to design and build up to three Polar Security Cutters for the service.

“We picked the most modern icebreaker that was on the market, soon to be production-level design that roughly met the Coast Guard’s requirements, and we took it and modified it,” Baczkowski said.

“It has a contoured shape. The shape of the hull does the icebreaking. … The shape of the hull pushed the broken ice aside, so it doesn’t interfere with your propulsion systems, with your instrumentation that’s on the other side of the ship,” he added.

The ship will accommodate up to 186 people and run on a diesel-electric propulsion system based on a Finnish design from ABB.

VT Halter Marine expects to kick off the fabrication phase in 2021 and deliver the first ship in 2024.

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