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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

World's most powerful nuclear icebreaker joins Russia's fleet

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 21 October 2020 11:57 PM

The world's largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Russian-made Arktika, will join the country's Arctic fleet in coming months, according to Russian media reports.

The gigantic icebreaker, whose acceptance and delivery certificate was signed on Wednesday, is to start operating in the Arctic waters of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in December.

Addressing a flag-raising ceremony in Murmansk, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the deployment of Arktika "will ensure Russia's supremacy in the Arctic and facilitate further development of the Northern Sea Route as a crucial transport corridor."

The prime minister said his country has indisputably led the way in developing northern regions, adding, "We are proud of the fact that Russia is the only country to develop a nuclear icebreaker fleet, which is now receiving the Arktika, another multirole nuclear icebreaker."

He said the development of the icebreaker fleet "will make it possible to completely unlock the transport potential of the Northern Sea Route."

"The icebreaker has innovative equipment, a powerful engine, which allows it to be used everywhere – in ice, deep water, and shallow trails."

The Arktika completed its transit from St. Petersburg to its homeport in Murmansk on October 12. It covered about 4,900 nautical miles within 21 days, including around 1,030 miles sailing through the ice.

The icebreaker, with a length of 173.3 meters and a beam of 34 meters, can plow through three-meter-thick ice in the mouths of polar rivers and in the Arctic Ocean and can escort ship convoys.

The planning of the lead icebreaker of Project 22220, the Arktika, started at the OJSC Baltic Shipyard (Baltiysky Zavod) on November 5, 2013, and the construction was launched on June 16, 2016.

In 2021, the vessel will be equipped with a new electric propulsion motor on the starboard side to raise the ship's power capacity to 60 megawatts.

As part of Project 22220, Russia is also planning to develop a Leader-class icebreaker, which will be over 210 meters long – slightly less than two football pitches, and 47 meters tall, equal to a 13-story building.

The vessel, whose construction is expected to start soon, will be able to cut through a 4.3-meter-thick ice sheet, and stay at sea for eight months without entering a port. The new icebreaker will pack twice as much punch, boasting a 120-MWatt powerplant, double the power output of the Arktika.

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