04:31 GMT +313 December 2019
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    US Coast Guard handout file image received 05 August, 2007, shows the 420-foot (128m) Coast Guard cutter Healy the largest and most technically advanced icebreaker in the US

    US 'Way Behind' on Icebreakers Fleet, Needs to Catch Up

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    Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan claims that the United States is far behind in terms of icebreakers in the Arctic and needs to close the gap.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is far behind in terms of icebreakers in the Arctic and needs to close the gap, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan told Sputnik.

    “I am essentially saying is that we are way behind in that area, and we need to catch up,” Sullivan said on Tuesday.

    Earlier in January, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Adm. James Stavridis stated that the United States is disastrously losing the competition to build and operate icebreakers in the Arctic Ocean.

    The US Coast Guard has only two active icebreakers, and its only heavy icebreaker is nearing the end of its service life, according to the Government Accountability Office.

    The Obama administration has requested $150 billion for a ten-year acquisition plan to replace the icebreaker fleet, but the US Congress has been slow to authorize the administration’s funding requests.

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