The US icebreaker fleet “is in a terrible state, and its future does not give hope for change.” Publicist Brandon Walls wrote this in an article for the American magazine National Interest.
It is emphasized that the US Coast guard is armed with two ships: the icebreaker “Healy,” which was forced to interrupt a planned deployment in the Arctic due to a fire on Board in mid-August, and the last remaining icebreaker “Polar star,” commissioned in the 1970s.
“Compared to the Russian fleet, which counts 40 such vessels, the United States is significantly inferior in its capabilities,” Walls said.
The publicist believes that the US is not coping with implementing the plan to replace outdated ships and expand the icebreaker fleet, particularly due to problems with funding.
“The plan calls for only three heavy and three medium vessels, which will triple the size of the current US fleet, but this still pales in comparison to the Russian fleet,” he says.
The author also claims about other problems of the plan. He writes that all icebreakers will have diesel-electric power plants, while the Russian Navy uses mostly nuclear designs. The placement of such equipment on ships for such a developed economic power as the United States is perplexing to the publicist.
Walls concluded that the current American strategy in the Arctic is devoid of vision and ambition.