President of the United States Donald trump ordered to begin to develop a program for the acquisition of icebreakers to ensure the safety and interests in the Arctic and Antarctic. This is stated in the Memorandum signed by the President.
“in order to protect our national interests in the Arctic and Antarctic and to keep the presence of the security forces along with our allies and partners in the Arctic, the United States needs a ready and capable fleet of icebreakers providing security, which would be tested and ready by 2029”, — stated in the document.
the President also instructed the Minister of internal security in cooperation with the commandant of the coast guard, defense Minister and Minister of energy to conduct a study of the benefits and risks of use of icebreaking fleet, which consists of at least three heavy icebreakers class PSC.
the U.S. is considering the possibility of organizing at least two bases on its territory and two abroad.
Now the polar fleet includes two ships: the heavy icebreaker Polar Star was commissioned in 1976, and the icebreaker Healy, commissioned in 2000.
In December 2018, the US refused to exercise in the Arctic, as he feared that the Polar Star, which was supposed to participate in them, will break. Then Admiral Paul Zukunft said that cannot guarantee full operation of the vessel and that the US will not have “to ask Russia to get us out of danger.”
Now, the country implemented a Security program Polar Cutter in the fleet. Under this program, the United States plan to purchase six new polar icebreakers, which would provide a year-round presence of U.S. forces in the Arctic and the Antarctic.