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Seaspan Shipyards Unveils Digital Model of Canada’s Heavy Polar Icebreaker

Seaspan Shipyards Unveils Digital Model of Canada’s Heavy Polar Icebreaker

Today at CANSEC, Canada’s leading defence & security tradeshow, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards presented its progress towards completing the functional design on the first heavy Polar Icebreaker in Canada in over 60 years. Functional Design of the vessel is now more than 70 per cent complete and 3D modelling of the vessel is well advanced, setting the stage for Seaspan to cut steel on the flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet before the end of the year.

 With Canada’s current largest Icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, expected to retire at the end of the decade, the new Polar Icebreaker will be one of the world’s largest, most capable and powerful icebreakers. While designed and built before the implementation of the Polar Code, the Louis’ capability is akin to a Polar Class 4. Canada’s operational requirements drive to building a new Polar Class 2 icebreaker that can independently operate anywhere in the Arctic year round – this capability includes the ability to operate at -50 degrees Celsius which introduces considerable complexity to the design and build of the vessel.

Most icebreakers primarily break ice.  The new Polar Icebreaker will also be capable of fulfilling many different demanding missions necessary for Canada including a wide array of Arctic science missions, search and rescue, security, navigation, transportation and emergency response.   This impressive range of capabilities also adds to the design and engineering challenges that are being addressed by the Canadian Coast Guard and the Seaspan team.

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