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Russia’s advanced icebreaker leads nuclear sub through Arctic ice for first time

The ice fields are about 40 cm thick in the waterways in the White Sea, according to the Russian Northern Fleet's spokesperson

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. The Russian Northern Fleet’s advanced icebreaker Ilya Muromets has led the strategic nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgoruky through the Arctic ice for the first time, Fleet spokesman Vadim Serga said on Saturday.

"The Northern Fleet’s most advanced icebreaker Ilya Muromets, which was performing the tasks of ice trials, cleared passages for the nuclear submarine for the first time," the spokesman said.

"After successfully completing its work in the Kara Gates, the vessel’s crew sailed to the White Sea Throat where it received the strategic underwater cruiser Yuri Dolgoruky for an icebreaker escort," the spokesman said.

The ice fields are about 40 cm thick in the waterways in the White Sea. These conditions render impossible the navigation of non-ice-class vessels, the spokesman noted.

"The icebreaker Ilya Muromets was travelling first, clearing the waterway in ice fields. Also, the icebreaker Ruslan of the Belomorskaya naval base and a sea tug provided for the underwater cruiser’s passage. Today, the group of vessels has arrived in Severodvinsk," the spokesman said.

The next-generation icebreaker Ilya Muromets was laid down at the Admiralty Wharf Shipyard in northwest Russia on April 23, 2015 and put afloat in June 2016. The icebreaker officially entered service with the Fleet on November 30, 2017. It arrived at its permanent naval base on January 2, 2018.

The vessel can break an ice field of 90 cm thick, transport cargoes, carry out hydrographic surveys and participate in various rescue operations. With its length of 85 meters and its width of about 20 meters, the vessel displaces about 6,000 tonnes. The icebreaker is equipped with a crane with a lifting capacity of 26 tonnes to carry out loading and unloading operations.