MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. The group of the Russian Navy in the Arctic will receive a universal ship capable to be simultaneously an ice-breaker, an ocean tug and a patrol ship, Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov told reporters on Friday.
"A decision was made to design and build - in the middle-term prospect - a universal ship of a new generation, with possibilities of a fleet tug, icebreaker and patrol ship at the same time," Chirkov said. "This universality will allow the ship to fulfil a broad range of tasks in the Arctic area. We are going to outline its design this year."
The admiral said that the Arctic group would be provided with service ships with more capabilities for autonomous functioning. In particular, on April 23 an Ilya Muromets diesel-and electric-powered icebreaker capable of making a two-month autonomous voyage is to be laid down at St Petersburg’s Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard.
"The icebreaker will be used to ensure the activity of the Arctic Navy group and is capable to efficiently fulfil tasks in the Arctic seas, breaking 80 centimetres of ice and going as far as 12,000 nautical miles," the admiral said. "The index is excellent as the length of the Northern Sea Route from the Kara Gates to Providence Bay constitutes around 5,600 kilometres.".