Keel laid for Russian Navy’s first patrol icebreaker
© Ria Novosti. Alexey Filippov

Keel laid for Russian Navy’s first patrol icebreaker

The first multifunctional patrol icebreaker, the Ivan Papanin, project 23550 for the Russian Navy, was laid down on Wednesday at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, RIA Novosti reported.

"Today, we are celebrating an important event both in the history of the Navy and the history of military shipbuilding. Today is the birthday of the future ship, which will defend our Arctic territories," Admiral Vladimir Korolyov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, said at the keel-laying ceremony.

According to Admiral Korolyov, the ship will solve military patrol and research tasks, and break ice along the Northern Sea Route.

The ship was named after outstanding Arctic explorer Rear Admiral Ivan Papanin by the order of Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Korolyov.

Construction of another patrol ice-class ship, the Nikolai Zubov, is expected to begin soon. A contract to build two patrol ships was signed on April 25, 2016. The patrol flagship, the Ivan Papanin, will be transferred to the Russian Navy after 2020.

The Ivan Papanin, designed by the Almaz Design Bureau, will be able to move through 1.5-m-thick sea ice. The ship's displacement will be about 8,500 metric tons. Measuring 100 meters long and about 20 meters wide, it will reach speeds of about 16 knots. The ship will be able to effectively carry out tasks in the Arctic zone both independently and as part of warship groups, as well as to perform escort duties in the Arctic directions.

The ship will be equipped with an AK-176MA artillery system, a helipad, a hangar for a helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicles, and two Raptor high-speed combat boats.