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Russia floats out 1st military ice-breaker over half-century

June 10, 14:09 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
The ice-breaker Ilya Muromets will be transferred to the Russian Navy in 2017 and already in the autumn of 2016 new ships will be laid down at this slipway for their use in the Arctic zone
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© Anatoly Medved/TASS
© Anatoly Medved/TASS
© Anatoly Medved/TASS
© Anatoly Medved/TASS
© Anatoly Medved/TASS
© Anatoly Medved/TASS
© Anatoly Medved/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, June 10. /TASS/. The Project 21180 diesel-electric lead ice-breaker Ilya Muromets, the first vessel of this class for the domestic Navy in 45 years, was floated out at the Admiralty Wharves Shipyard in St. Petersburg in northwest Russia, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.

The solemn ceremony is being attended by Chief of the Russian Navy Main Staff Vice-Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky, Head of the Defense Ministry’s State Defense Order Provision Department Andrei Vernigora and Admiralty Wharves CEO Alexander Buzakov.

"Today, after a five-year break, we’re floating out a new vessel - a supply ice-breaker with large functional capabilities. Symbolically, the nuclear-powered ice-breaker Lenin was laid down at this slipway 60 years ago," Buzakov said.

The ice-breaker Ilya Muromets will be transferred to the Russian Navy on time, the Admiralty Wharves CEO said.

This event is expected in 2017 and already in the autumn of 2016 "new ships will be laid down at this slipway for their use in the Arctic zone," the CEO said.

Head of the United Ship-Building Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov said earlier that a whole series of the Ilya Muromets-class ice-breakers could be built under the program of renewing the Russian Navy’s auxiliary fleet. A corresponding decision will be made following the results of the lead vessel’s operation, he noted.

The Ilya Muromets was laid down on April 23, 2015. The vessel displaces 6,000 tons, has a sea endurance of 9,000 miles and can operate autonomously for 60 days. The ice-breaker’s crew will total 35. The Ilya Muromets is designed both for the ice-breaking functions and the capabilities of a sea-going tug and a patrol ship.

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