US. President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Arctic and Antarctic security today that called on the U.S. Coast Guard to explore the possibility of buying nuclear-powered icebreakers, a type of ship that only Russia operates. The same document orders an assessment of what kind of defensive weapons any future icebreakers might carry, specifically to defend against possible threats from “near-peer competitors,” such as Russia or China. The Coast Guard’s tiny existing icebreaking fleets have been in increasingly desperate need of replacement for years now and the service finally awarded a contract for its first new heavy icebreaker, a conventionally-powered design, in decades just over a year ago.
The Drive 9th June 2020 read more »