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ST. PETERSBURG, April 23. /TASS/. The head icebreaker of Project 21180, the Ilya Muromets, was laid down for Russia’s Navy at St. Petersburg’s Admiralteiskiye Verfi shipyard.
The diesel-and electric-powered icebreaker is being built for the Northern Fleet to provide support for coastal and island bases and airfields in the Arctic and to escort vessels through ice up to 80 cm thick. It is to be commissioned in 2017.
The Ilya Muromets will have a displacement of 6,000 metric tons. It will be capable of making a two-month autonomous voyage to a distance of up to 12,000 nautical miles with a crew of 32.
"Construction of an icebreaker for the Navy for the first time in 45 years is a breakthrough in the sphere of naval shipbuilding," Russian Navy Commander Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.
"It is distinguished by maneuverability, multi-functionality and a totally new principle of electric propulsion. All supply vessels that will be built in the near future for Russia’s Navy will be vessels of the new type," he said.
"Following construction and tests, a decision will be made regarding the construction of new icebreakers. These will not necessarily be identical ships, the project could be modified," the Russian Defense Ministry’s state defense order department head Andrey Vernigora said.
Admiralteiskiye Verfi Director General Alexander Buzakov noted that when the contract was being drafted, "the talk was about the construction of four ships."