A pioneer in defence and engineering, Singapore’s ST Engineering has signed a polar security cutter contract for $2.26 billion with the US Navy to build three icebreaker vessels for the US Coast Guard. Under the terms of the contract, the company’s shipbuilding arm in Mississippi VT Halter Marine will design and construct the vessels.

The contract is a multi-year programme. Singapore’s ST Engineering expects to deliver the first vessel in 2024, and the estimated date for the remaining vessels are 2025 and 2027. The vessels are 460 feet in length with a beam of 88 feet overall and a full load displacement of about 33,000 long tons, according to a company press release.

The US Coast Guard will capitalise on the old and new icebreaker fleets to sustain access to both polar regions and meet the country’s commercial and national security needs.

Since February 2017, VT Halter Marine has been involved in the design analysis study of the polar security cutter contract. At present, the US has two operation icebreakers: the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star and the Coast Guard Cutter Healy commissioned in 1976 and in 2000, respectively.