Pimp My Icebreaker

The Unofficial CG blog asked an interesting question and considering the popularity of the Pimp My Ship post I thought I’d post the question here:

With all the talk of the Arctic opening up, I’d like to pick you brains about the sort of ships we need. How will we balance of numbers and capability?
Do we need a new design? An ice strengthened OPC? Can 225s do the job? A salt water Mackinaw? (Anybody know if the new Mackinaw is restricted to fresh water?)
Do we perhaps need a new type of vessel–maybe an icebreaking helo carrier with hanger space that can alternately be used for containers of different types from scientific or personnel support to mine warfare modules?
Should we reactivate the Glacier as an interim measure?
There is some background here.
What do you think?

Here are the comments they got already: http://www.cgblog.org/2010/04/02/arctic-patrol-vessel/#disqus_thread

I’m not sure a helicopter’s have enough range to be effective in the arctic… but maybe if they carried a few Harriers or Ospreys?

[QUOTE=john;30343]I’m not sure a helicopter’s have enough range to be effective in the arctic… but maybe if they carried a few Harriers or Ospreys?[/QUOTE]

For what exactly? Harrier vs. Helo is kind of an apples an oranges thing to me. The V22’s sphere of influence is MUCH greater than the H46 (IAW wiki link you provided) so that to me would lead to questions about lift capacity NOT offensive operations one could potentially conduct with harriers. V22 vs. H53 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CH-53_Sea_Stallion? that to me would be a better question, again if lift capacity is the question.

Makes sense Jolly.

So, considering that most of us are not aviation experts… [I][B]what capabilities do you think an icebreaker should have to support shipping in the arctic[/B][B]?[/B][/I] (then we could leave the question of how to meet our expectations to the area specific experts).

thought I would never say this, but ask the Russians.

[QUOTE=RkyMtn Paul;30395]thought I would never say this, but ask the Russians.[/QUOTE] The Russians don’t care as long as there is enough antifreeze (Vodka) onboard.

NOT an aviation expert, just a retired NAVY Chief who deployed with his fair share of MARINES aboard a handful of amphibious units who used big helos to get the job done.
With the mission being to support shipping in the Arctic then I would venture that TO BEGIN, heavy lift ain’t necessary and neither would harrier or any other offensive type aircraft.

Icebreaker to keep the roadway open? Check

Land-based local-ish support for ship? Not familiar with Canadian or Russian support networks up thataway but certainly that would be necessary for sustained operations. Same would go for any SAR/Cargo aircraft.

I think this would be a great opportunity for Joint Operations between governments especially in light of the cost of start-up.

I agree - ask the Russians (OR Canadians) cold weather ops are their bailiwick.