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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The cutting-edge Ilya Muromets icebreaker will become operational in the Russian Navy by the end of this year, the Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.
"The Ilya Muromets icebreaker is planned to start undergoing shipbuilders’ sea trials in mid-July this year. The icebreaker will join the Navy until the end of 2017 after all the stages of trials," the ministry said in a statement.
The icebreaker is currently completing mooring trials at the shipyard’s quay. Work is ongoing aboard the icebreaker to adjust onboard equipment and complete the finishing of interior compartments.
The vessel being built for the Russian Northern Fleet was laid down on April 23, 2015. This is the first icebreaker over the past 45 years being built solely for the needs of the Russian Navy.
Russia’s United Ship-Building Corporation CEO Alexei Rakhmanov earlier said that a series of such icebreakers could be eventually built for Arctic applications as part of the program of the auxiliary fleet upgrade. As the chief executive explained, the Project 21180 icebreaker is specifically designed for basing and deploying the fleet’s forces in ice conditions and for towing combat ships. A decision on the construction of new icebreakers for the Russian Navy will be made following the results of the lead vessel’s operation.
The Ilya Muromets is being built at the Admiralty Wharfs shipyard on the same slipway that was used to build the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin.
The Ilya Muromets, which will displace 6,000 tonnes, incorporates new principles of electric propulsion and a modern power unit. The icebreaker will have a crew of 32 and an endurance of 60 days and an operational range of 12,000 miles. The icebreaker will be capable of breaking the ice field up to 80 cm thick.