USCG Ice breakers


The ice breaking research vessel Kronprins Haakon is expected to arrive in Norway 03. Jan. 2018, 1.5 years delayed:

If the translator is gentle with this it also explains why Norwegian yards didn’t win this contract.

PS> This is NOT a HEAVY Ice breaker, but neither is the costs that heavy (NOK 1.4 Bn. = Approx. USD 170 Mill.)


The average cost per heavy icebreaker is estimated to be $791 million, but the cost of each ship goes down as each is built. Research and testing expenses drive up the cost of the first ship to an estimated $983 million, but down to $692 million for the final ship, Van Rynbach said.

What the hell? Are these ships made from gold? An a380 airliner only costs ~$320 million.


A heavy polar icebreaker weighs about 40 times as much as an A380.

If you compare the heavy polar icebreaker to other USCG ships such as the NSC or OPC, it’s not really that expensive. There’s just so much more of it…


The R/V Kronprins Haakon has arrived in Bergen and getting ready for first expedition later in the year:


…and you tell me this AFTER I had decided to skip walking around Bergen and head for the airport for six hours…

Edit: That would have increased my lifetime Haakon sightings from one to two…


Sorry, I was not aware that both you and the KH was in Bergen.
Here is the best I can do to compensate:

The video concentrate more on what interest the journalist than on what be of interest to you.

PS> I assume you can understand spoken Norwegian enough to where you get the spoken comments as well?


An external view and more info:ørste-isgående-forskningsfartøy-71175.ece

She’ll be going to Langstein in Tomrefjorden for last bit of outfitting and commissioning before final delivery, which MAY include a visit to Aalesund. I’ll try to visit, or at least get some external pictures of my own.


I’m familiar with the technical characteristics, so at this stage I’m mostly interested in what the ship looks like now that it’s (almost) ready.

Also, my Norwegian is limited to reading and even then I’m mainly relying on my Swedish and the context.


As ombugge posts progress on the Norwegian icebreaker, here’s what’s happening on the other side of the Iron Curtain (articles in Russian, pictures in English):

That’s three icebreakers in total:

  • two vessels with 21.5 MW (28,800 shp) propulsion power, conventional AC/AC, 2 m/6.5 ft icebreaking capability and ice class roughly equivalent to Polar Class 2; and
  • one vessel with 12 MW (16,000 shp) propulsion power, Onboard DC Grid, 1.5 m/5 ft icebreaking capability and ice class roughly equivalent to Polar Class 3.

All ships are scheduled to be delivered this year, the first two to Gazprom Neft and the third to Atomflot. All will be deployed in the Gulf of Ob in the Russian Arctic to support oil and LNG shipping.

"dc prop the 'new' thing

And plans are afoot for improved base facilities in Murmansk to service the fleet of new icebreakers:


Thanks Tupsis, and I’m glad you at least got the pics in english!! I’d bet with the NW passage opening up this new construction is prompted by that a little bit. There was talk the USA should have another breaker, a, (ahem) newer one, The NW passage WILL be used and probably a lot but i’d suspect mostly by russia? I think some forward thinkers in the Govt. are urging we have some capability to go there in ice? China is building the Rail Road from china to Europe, in fact, it’s done but they are re-doing a lot of it and adding a lot so maybe their xocean traffic will lessen?


Russia exports all of its hydrocarbons along the Northern Sea Route (Northeast Passage) along its own coast so it has no need for NWP. The icebreakers I listed above are designed for local operations such as ice management around the Arctic Gates offshore oil export terminal or port icebreaking at the Sabetta LNG terminal. The tankers used for these operations can operate independently without icebreaker assistance for most part of the year or, if necessary, follow nuclear-powered “line icebreakers” in convoys.

The USCG does not do conventional escort icebreaking (USCGC Healy’s adventures off Nome were a notable exception); the primary mission of the current and future heavy polar icebreakers is Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica, followed by scientific and constabulary missions in the Arctic. Certainly, if shipping moves to the Arctic and the NWP, the USCG should have the capability to be present there.


Lo and behold. The new R/V Kronprins Haakon is a “rust bucket” according to some who have spotted rust streaks on the anchor and under a hatch at the bow:
She has just completed a delivery trip from the yard in Italy to Norway in harsh winter conditions.

Maybe the comments are coloured of the fact that the ship was built in Italy, not in Norway??


Hull of second Russian nuclear icebreaker Sibir has been launched:

And the first new diesel/electric icebreaker built for the Russian Navy has reached its base on the Kola Peninsula:


As the article says, Ilya Muromets turned out to be too expensive so they won’t build more of them. Instead, they’ll look to a smaller variant dubbed Project P21180M which will have about two thirds of the displacement of the auxiliary icebreaker they now commissioned.

As for Sibir and the other big ones under construction, it’s now been ten years since Russia commissioned a new heavy polar icebreaker and the last one took 18 years to complete. Everything that is now under construction is seriously behind schedule.


Here is one more article about RV Kronprins Haakon from Sysla:


Davie’s plan to convert Aiviq and the Tor Viking sisters to the CCG appears to be moving forward:


Why convert anything when there are icebreakers ready, able and willing to serve available on the market?:

Same from a different source:


Article about the USCG Heavy Polar Icebreaker program:


The RV Kronprins Haakon is now at Langstein for final outfitting, commissioning and delivery:

Here is an article from Sysla, with video showing the Engine room and more: