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ST. PETERSBURG, April 19. /TASS/. The Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg kicked off construction for the first Project 23550 ice-class armed patrol ship - the Ivan Papanin - for the Russian Navy on Wednesday.
"Today, we are celebrating a milestone for the Russian Navy and for naval construction. Today is the birthday of a vessel that will protect the Russian Arctic. The ice-class armed patrol boat will be built under the order of the Russian defense minister to protect our territories in the Arctic," the Russian Navy’s Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Korolyov, stated.
He added that the construction of a second Project 23550 icebreaker, named in honor of the great Russian polar explorer, Nikolai Zubkov, would start soon.
In 2016, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered two Project 23550 ice-class patrol ships to be built at the Admiralty Shipyards for the Russian Navy by the end of 2020. The project vessels will combine the qualities of a tug, ice-breaker, and patrol boat and be able to break ice up to 1.5 meters thick. The Admiralty Shipyards also plan to deliver a diesel-electric icebreaker - the Ilya Muromets - to the Russian Navy this year.