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MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. The first icebreaker of project 21180 for the Russian Navy will begin to be built in St. Petersburg next spring. The ship’s frame will be laid at the JSC Admiralty Shipyards in March 2015, a reliable source in the military-industrial complex has told TASS.
As the chief of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexey Rakhmanov said earlier, “the support icebreaker of project 21180 will be built at the Admiralty shipyards for the needs of the Northern Fleet.”
“In the longer term, under a program for upgrading the support fleet a family of seven such icebreakers may be built for use on the Arctic routes, Rakhmanov said, adding that the project 21180 ship was expected to provide ice-breaking services for the naval forces to be based and deployed in the Arctic and to tug combat ships.
The icebreaker, designed at the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau, of St. Petersburg, is capable of negotiating ice floes up to 0.8 meter thick. Under the terms of reference ships of this type will be employed in the Arctic and in the Far East. The ice-breaker’s estimated endurance is 60 days, and range, 12 miles.
Creation of a large heavy-duty ice-breaker fleet was identified as a task of national importance in the early 1950s with the beginning of intensive development of Arctic regions.
Currently Russia has seven nuclear-powered ice-breakers (The Arktika, The Rossiya, The Soviet Union, The Taimyr, The Vaigach, The Yamal, and The 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory), and nuclear-powered lighter carrier The Sevmorput. Two nuclear powered icebreakers: The Lenin and The Sibir, have been withdrawn from operation.