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Russia’s latest nuclear-powered icebreaker to undergo major ice trials this year

The icebreaker Arktika completed its transit from St. Petersburg to the registry port of Murmansk on October 12

ST. PETERSBURG, October 19. /TASS/. The Project 22220 universal nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika built at the Baltic Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) is scheduled to undergo major ice trials this year for its acceptance for service, Arktika Delivery Team Captain Oleg Shchapin told TASS on Monday.

The icebreaker Arktika completed its transit from St. Petersburg to the registry port of Murmansk on October 12. The icebreaker covered about 4,900 nautical miles within 21 days, including around 1,030 miles sailing through the ice.

"The ice tests are still ahead, probably, this year because now the ice trials did not work with an ice of 1.1 - 1.2 meters thick. It was thin and loose and the icebreaker did not get any resistance. We tried to find an ice floe three meters thick but to no avail," Shchapin said.

The icebreaker features good controllability, he added.

"When we used to come across an ice block aboard the icebreaker 50 Years of Victory, we would simply break through it and this was still noticeable whereas the new icebreaker sails actually without a stir. That is, the transit proceeded as was required," he said.

United Shipbuilding Corporation CEO Alexei Rakhmanov earlier said that the corporation earlier planned to sign a delivery/acceptance certificate for the icebreaker Arktika on October 21.

Nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika

The icebreaker Arktika opens a series of principally new nuclear-powered vessels created to address the strategic tasks of developing the Arctic. The series of Project 22220 icebreakers will provide for year-round navigation in the western Arctic, which will make it possible to achieve the required level of cargo shipping along the Northern Sea Route.

The vessel’s dual-draft concept allows using Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreakers both in deep water and in the estuaries of polar rivers. This advantage makes the vessel universal and expands the geography of its operation.

As its other advantage, the Arktika features the RITM-200 two-reactor powerplant that enables the vessel to reach a power capacity of 60 MW on propeller shafts and break through an ice of three meters thick.