New research expedition icebreaker to be built for Rosgidromet
© Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Rosgidromet)

New research expedition icebreaker to be built for Rosgidromet

A new research expedition vessel has been designed for Rosgidromet’s research in the Arctic. The new ship will cost about 39.8 billion rubles. The Government will make a decision on supporting this project soon, the Izvestia newspaper reports.

Most of the research by the Russian Antarctic Expedition and the High-Latitude Arctic Expedition is carried out by Rosgidromet's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute with the icebreakers Mikhail Somov and Akademik Fyodorov (built in 1975 and 1987, respectively). These ice-class research expedition ships are physically worn out and, in many ways, obsolete; they have exhausted their service lives of 25 years and need to be replaced.

“Our polar explorers need equipment for safe and comfortable working conditions. The current ships that take people and cargo to the Northern and Southern hemispheres have been in service for over 25 years and are now outdated. Natural hazards and obstacles can occur at any time, but under no circumstances should expeditions be interrupted. After all, the research conducted by polar explorers is needed not only for our country, but throughout the world. The new research expedition vessel will ensure the operation of six year-round Antarctic stations and four field bases. This unique project will not only allow us to work in difficult ice conditions and extremely low temperatures, but the ship will also perform the functions of a dry cargo ship, a tanker and a passenger ship,” the ministry’s press service quoted Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov.

In replacing the obsolete vessels, Admiralty Shipyards has engineered a new research expedition vessel for Rosgidromet. The design has already received a positive review from the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, and the Center for Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Technology has reviewed the specifications for labor efficiency and project costs.

“Currently, our expedition fleet has two icebreakers, the Akademik Fyodorov and the Akademik Tryoshnikov. They continue to deliver goods and people, but these vessels will soon need to be replaced since time and harsh operating conditions are taking their toll. Considering the construction timeframe of about five or six years, the new icebreaker should enter service just in time,” Alexander Makarov told Makarov is the director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

In September of this year, the unique North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform will set off on its first mission.