St. Petersburg gets world’s biggest ice navigation training center

St. Petersburg gets world’s biggest ice navigation training center

A new ice navigation training complex opened at the Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping on September 20. Initiated by the university’s Continuing Vocational Training Department, the project was carried out in cooperation with Rostransmodernizatsiya, a federal state institution under the Russian Transport Ministry, with a mandate to implement comprehensive development projects in the transport sector.

“This new training complex at Makarov University will help ship navigation professionals improve their skills in navigating high-capacity ships and vessels with special maneuvering properties both at sea and on inland waters. What makes this training complex special is that it focuses on modeling the ice navigation experience and will train navigation officers to work in Arctic waters,” Sergei Baryshnikov, Rector of Makarov University, said during the opening ceremony.

The complex includes five navigation bridges within a single network. It can be quickly set up to simulate vessels of various kinds, including their maneuvering and inertial properties, while offering a wide range of rudder propeller units and control boards, as well as modelling the way a ship’s hull interacts with ice cover of various kinds. The university paid special attention to modelling ARC4 and ARC7 ice-class vessels equipped with azipods and rudder propeller units for teaching navigators to run these ships and drafting guidelines for maneuvering in and around Russian Arctic ports, which are under construction or are about to be expanded.

The ice navigation training equipment is expected to satisfy the demand from shipping and crewing companies for training qualified personnel to work in the Arctic.

“This new ice navigation training complex will supplement a similar center at the Krylov State Scientific Center. Makarov University has been using this facility with its six bridges since 2015. Now, the two centers will be able to train up to 33 navigators at once,” Director of Makarov University’s Continuing Vocational Training Department, Sergei Aizinov, said.

Russia operates the world’s largest icebreaker fleet, by a wide margin, with 37 vessels of this kind, followed by Sweden and Finland with seven icebreakers each, Canada with six, the United States with five, and Denmark with four icebreakers. China, Argentina, Chile, Estonia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Latvia and Norway have one or just a few icebreakers each. Russia is the only country with nuclear icebreakers and has the world’s biggest ice-class transport fleet.