North Pole ice-resistant platform to be laid down in St. Petersburg next year
© RIA Novosti. Sergey Subbotin

North Pole ice-resistant platform to be laid down in St. Petersburg next year

The North Pole ice-resistant platform for studying the Arctic Ocean will be laid down at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg next year, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi told RIA Novosti.

"The platform will be laid down in 2019. They are currently working on the specifications, the design stage will begin in May, and construction will start in early 2019," Donskoi said.

There are plans to build a unique and sophisticated vessel, Donskoi noted.

In late April, the Admiralty Shipyard and the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring signed a contract for designing and building the North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform that will be used to conduct research projects in the Arctic Ocean year-round.

This unique specialized vessel with a highly durable hull will have enough fuel for two years and a service life of at least 25 years. It will accommodate a crew of 14, plus 48 researchers. The platform will be equipped to conduct geological, acoustic, geophysical and oceanographic research. The platform will be able to plow through ice formations without an icebreaker escort, and its helipad will receive heavy-duty Mil Mi-8AMT helicopters.

The platform will be 67.8 meters long and 22.5 meters wide, displacing about 7,500 metric tons. Its propulsion unit's rated capacity will be at least 3,600 kilowatts, and it will develop a speed of up to 10 knots. Under the contract, the customer is to receive the platform in 2020.