As BarentsObserver reported, Russia is in the process of building a whole new fleet of icebreakers to suit the country’s Arctic ambitions. At least 14 icebreakers are under construction and several more are under planning.
On Tuesday, a ceremony at the Baltic Shipyard marked the keel laying of “Sibir”, the second vessel in the LK-60 (project 22220) class, the biggest and most powerful icebreaker in the world.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who also heads Russia’s Arctic Commission, CEO of Rosatom Sergey Kirienko, General Director of Rosatomflot Vyacheslav Ruksha, and several other officials, among them Governor of Murmansk Oblast Marina Kovtun, the shipyard’s website reads.
The first vessel of the class, which has received the name “Arktika”, was laid down at the same shipyard in November 2013. It should be ready for operations along the Northern Sea Route in 2017.
The vessels are 173 meters long, 34 meters wide and able to sail in 3-meter thick ice. They will be part of the state-owned Rosatomflot fleet of nuclear icebreakers based in Murmansk.
Baltic Shipyard has contract for construction of a third icebreaker of the same series. The contract for the two latest icebreakers has a 84.4 billion rubles (€1.5 billion) price tag. The icebreakers are due to be put in commission in December 2019 and December 2020, respectively.