The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Polar Class
The Polar class vessels were the first newly built Coast Guard icebreakers since the Wind class of 1944.  Budgetary constraints limited the class to two ships: Polar Star and Polar Sea.  The ships were built by Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company in Seattle, Washington. They had 60,000 horsepower gas turbines for heavy ice and were designed to break 6.5 feet of ice at a continuous 3 knots, and 21 feet by ramming. The Polar cutters were specifically designed for icebreaking and had reinforced hulls, special icebreaking bows, and a system that allowed rapid shifting of ballast to increase the effectiveness of their icebreaking.  The Polar class vessels continue to serve the Coast Guard today.

Photograph: A U.S. Coast Guard HH-52A Seaguard helicopter landing on the icebreaker USCGC Polar Star.  Date unknown.  (Source: United States Coast Guard)