A ceremony at the Admiralty shipyards in St. Petersburg on Thursday marked the start of construction of the first icebreaker for the Russian Navy in decades. “Ilya Muromets” is the first in a series of four diesel-electric icebreakers to use in the Arctic and Far East, TASS reports.
According to Commander of The Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the first vessel will be used in the Northern Fleet. “The icebreaker will be used to support the activities of the navy’s Arctic units. It can sail through 80 cm thick ice and sail for 12,000 nautical miles. These are parameters, taken into account that the Northern Sea Route from the Kara Gate to the Bay of Provideniya is 5600 kilometers”, the Ministry of Defense’s web site reads.
“Ilya Muromets” will participate in operations on deployment of naval forces and towing of vessels. The 84 meters long, 20 meters wide vessel will be equipped with Azipod propellers and have a cruising capacity of 60 days.
The icebreaker is planned to be ready by 2017, TASS reports.