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Conventional Icebreakers

After the Great Patriotic War the Soviet ice-breaker fleet was supplemented by three good vessels of the Captain Belousov type, built according to the Soviet order in Finland. One special feature of these vessels were nose screws - in addition to stern. They not only improved the maneuverability of ship, but also helped it to fight with ice, directing to it the flows of water.

In 1960 the red flag was raised on the ice-breaker "Moskva" - lead of a series into five vessels, built on the same pattern as Captain Belousov, at the Finnish shipyard Vyartsila. Already the first voyage "Moskva" established the record of high-speed passage by north by sea, and uniform "Vladivostok" it knew how to land directly to ice sequential expedition.

During the period from 1960 to 1971 there were substantial quantitative and qualitative changes in the composition of the soviet icebreaker fleet. Along with bringing into operation of n/i Lenin five arctic icebreakers of the Moskva type and 14 harbor icebreakers of the Vassiliy Pronchishchev type were constructed. Icebreakers of the Vassiliy Pronchishchev series were designed by the American type with one bow propeller and two stern ones. Total power of the icebreakers built in this period is about 180 MW, that is more than three times higher than that of the icebreakers the USSR had by the beginning of 1960.

From 1974 to 1976 Wärtsilä Oy delivered to the Soviet Union three the world's most powerful diesel-electric icebreakers of the Yermak type to provide for linear escorting of ships in the Arctic. In 1974 the ice-breaker fleet obtained a second Yermaka - the newly built ship built at Vyartsila. It has powerful power plant and perfected radar equipment. Aboard there is even a Finnish bath. But the most interesting technical innovation - this pneumo-washing device. The principle of its action consists in the fact that the powerful flows of water are sent along the housing, they erode ice cakes. But if it is necessary, the same device works as steering, improving the maneuverability of ship.

"Admiral Makarov" and "Krasin" were built in Finland in 1975-1976, their capacity is 36 thousand liters. They continued the series of the lead icebreaker "Ermak" and approximately correspond to the characteristics of the first nuclear icebreaker "Lenin". The length of the hull is 134.8 m, the width is 26 m, the draft is 8-11 m, the speed on clean water is 19.5 knots, the thickness of the ice being overcome is 1.8 m.

Admiral Makarov and Krasin icebreaker traditionally operated in the Far East and on the eastern wing of the NSR. (However, in the previous navigation, Admiral Makarov also worked on the western wing.) After it entered the system "Admiral Makarov", and later built the third sister ship. Ice-breakers of the type Yermak deservedly occupy pride of place after nuclear-powered ships "Lenin" and "the Arktika", being inferior to them in the power, they remain in the first place among the diesel-propelled ships of their class.

By June 2018, Rosatom's FSUE Atomflot is considering the possibility of taking two diesel icebreakers from Rosmorport FSUE Rosmorrechflot-Admiral Makarov and Krasin, as part of the Northern Sea Route (SMP) operator's functions, the Kommersant daily reported. As "Atomflot" head Vyacheslav Ruksha explained, "Admiral Makarov" and "Krasin" should be transferred to the balance of Atomflot as an element of the port infrastructure to ensure the activity in the Chaun-Bilibino region (Chukotka) shipping to Pevek. This will allow to be responsible for the eastern sector of the Arctic, explains the top manager. According to him, in 5-7 years, these icebreakers will be written off, but 3-5 years they can perform auxiliary functions in the summer-autumn navigation.

In 1982-83 Wärtsilä Oy delivered to the Soviet Union a series of three units of auxiliary sub-arctic icebreakers of the Mudyug type, where for the first time in the domestic and Finnish practice a diesel-geared propulsion plant was used rotating two controllable pitch propellers. The operational experience and full scale trials showed that ice propulsion and maneuverability of icebreakers of the Mudyug type including the movement astern were not satisfactory enough.

The icebreaker Mudyug was the first of a series of three icebreakers ordered by the Soviet Union from the Wartsila shipyard, Helsinki, Finland. Principal particulars: Length, o.a. 92.0m, w.l. 78.5m; Breadth, max. 21.4m; Depth 10.5m; Draft 6.5m; Displacement 6138 tonnes; Max. delivered power 9100kW; Bollard pull at 7000 kW 917 kN; Trial speed 17.45 knots. In contrast with Soviet icebreakers of this propulsive power, which usually have Diesel-electric propulsion, the Mudyug is provided with a geared Diesel installation comprising four Wartsila-Wasa engines, each rated at 2390 kW, 760 rpm. They drive two controllable-pitch propellers through single-stage reduction gearing. Each propulsion shaft includes a 11.5-tonne flywheel to assist propeller rotation under ice-impact conditions. The ship's progress in ice is also assisted by an air lubrication system for the hull. Two semi-balanced rudders are fitted, each actuated by independent steering machinery.

The KAPITAN DRANITSYN was built by the WARTSILA shipyard in Finland in 1980, and is a diesel-electrical icebreaker. The 4,100 t deadweight ship is 133 m long, 26.5 m broad, 48 m high and has a maximum draught of 8.5 m. Her total of 24,840 hp allows her to reach a maximum speed of 19 kn on 3 propellers, but she has no thrusters. KAPITAN DRANITSYN of the Murmansk Shipping Company from Murmansk is usually engaged in icebreaking duty. In 1994 she was refitted for her use as a base for touristic expeditions in Arctic and Antarctic waters as well as a base for scientific venues, but she has not been converted into a dedicated research icebreaker. Offering facilities and advantages of a rather large platform she also has some disadvantages when used as a research platform; specifically she is lacking proper winches, a seafloor penetrating echosounding System and labs for dry and wet analysis. Some of the deficiences could be made up for by installing 4 lab containers and by putting 100 m long cables on the three available cranes which were sufficient for reaching the shallow seafloor in the investigated area.

Of these, one (the Kapitan Sorokin) is permanently stationed in St.Petersburg for Baltic operations. The four diesel-electric ice-breakers owned by the Vladivostok-based FESCO are also seen less and less on the NSR as they are mostly engaged in Pacific Coast operations, in addition to Antarctic expeditions and tourist cruises.

In recent years shipbuilders dealing with the development of icebreaking technology, paid much attention to problems of the improvement of ships' ice performance due to the application of fundamentally new non-traditional hull lines requiring less energy consumption for the breaking of ice. With the purpose of finding out promising character of foreign proposals for the icebreakers operating under conditions of the Arctic and in other freezing seas the Ministry of Merchant Marine through the Murmansk and Northern Shipping companies decided to refit the icebreakers Mudyug and Kapitan Sorokin by the West German company Thyssen Nordseewerke and icebreaker Kapitan Nikolaev by the Finnish company Masa-Yards. The reconstruction involved the replacement of their forward ends with those of the Thyssen-Waas system for the first two icebreakers and of the so called 'conical' nose suggested by the Wärtsilä Marine for the third icebreaker.

Particular feature of the reconstructed icebreaker Kapitan Nikolaev is the use on the new forward end of the clad steel plating with an external stainless layer to prevent from the growth of the hull/ice friction resistance in the process of operation due to corrosion resulting in the considerable reduction of the icebreaking capability of icebreakers.

In July 2004 Baltiysky Zavod JSC won an international tender for the construction of a series of line icebreakers for FSUE Rosmorport. The icebreaker LK 16 "Moskva" is designed for escorting targe tankers (40~50 min beam) in the Gulf of Finland during wintertime, towing operations for vessels and other floating structures both in icy and open waters, rescue operations and emergency aid for vessels in icy and open waters, and for fire fighting. The vessel's ice-going capability at the speed of approx. 3 knots in level close ice with 500 kPa strength, with 10-20 cm thick snow cover and under the nominal output power from the azimuth thrusters will be minimum 1.0 m. Rescue operations will be carried out at sea state 6 or less and with current velocity of up to 2 knots. This vessel is a multipurpose icebreaker of a whole new class. The head vessel of a series - ice-breaker "Moskva" - it is laid at the Baltic plant on May 19, 2005. The descent of ice-breaker to the water was in May 2006, transfer to customer took place in February 2007.

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Page last modified: 31-07-2018 08:46:45 ZULU