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Testimony on the Cost of the Coast Guard’s Polar Security Cutter

Chairman Gimenez, Ranking Member Thanedar, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify about the procurement costs of the Coast Guard’s heavy polar icebreaker program, known as the Polar Security Cutter (PSC) program. In consultation with Committee staff, I have focused this short statement on providing a summary of the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the PSC program, which Chairman Green and Chairman Gimenez requested. That report is currently being drafted, and we expect to publish it this summer.

CBO’s findings are as follows:

  • The procurement cost of the first PSC would be about $1.9 billion. Subsequent ships would average about $1.6 billion each. (All costs in this statement are expressed in 2024 dollars.)
  • Given those costs, the procurement cost of three PSCs would be about $5.1 billion. That amount is 60 percent greater than the Coast Guard’s most recent publicly released estimate for the procurement cost of three heavy icebreakers, which was provided to CBO by the Coast Guard in March 2024.

CBO’s estimates are largely derived from a model that uses a ship’s weight to calculate its costs.

Originally published at https://www.cbo.gov/publication/60168

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