Admiralty Shipyard starts building North Pole ice-resistant platform
© RIA Novosti. Alexander Galperin

Admiralty Shipyard starts building North Pole ice-resistant platform

The other day metal-cutting operations commenced at the Admiralty Shipyard prior to the construction of the Project 00903 North Pole ice-resistant platform, according to corporate sources.

"The shareholding company Admiralty Shipyard has started building the Project 00903 North Pole self-propelled drifting ice-resistant platform, due to herald a breakthrough in Arctic exploration… The company has hosted an official metal-cutting ceremony for the construction of the future platform," the corporate press release notes.

The vessel's pilot project has already been completed and approved (the project designer is the Vympel Design Bureau), the first metal batch has been purchased, and work is underway to buy all the main equipment which is required. Corporate specialists together with their colleagues from the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute have tested a model of the platform inside an ice tank.

The North Pole platform will become another unique corporate project; Russian and international shipbuilding industries have never accomplished anything like this before, the Admiralty Shipyard's General Director Alexander Buzakov pointed out.

The press release quotes Buzakov as saying: "It will continue our glorious traditions of developing unique ships for Arctic research that were established over 60 years ago when the construction of the nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin got underway. There are many examples of how the Admiralty Shipyard coped with the most difficult jobs, justifying the confidence of its clients. I am certain that we will also be up to the mark this time, as well."

Deputy Chief of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet) Natalia Radkova said that the joint efforts of the Admiralty Shipyard, the Vympel Design Bureau and Roshydromet would provide polar explorers with a unique, comfortable and safe vessel to help make new discoveries and achievements.

In April 2018, the parties signed a contract for designing and building the North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform for Roshydromet. 

The North Pole construction project is implemented under a state program for the Russian Arctic's socioeconomic development. The ice-resistant platform will conduct all-year-round comprehensive research in the Arctic Ocean. In fact, this self-contained Arctic station will function as a research and development center, and it will drift for two years all over the Arctic Ocean, without docking in port.

The platform's unusual egg-shaped hull will help minimize ice pressure, and a rare steel brand will guarantee enhanced durability in line with the vessel's ice-resistance class.

The all-season research platform's crew will conduct geological, sonar, geophysical and oceanographic observations using built-in equipment. The platform will plow through ice formations without the need of any icebreaker escorts and receive heavy-duty Mi-8AMT Hip helicopters on its own helipad. The platform will have the following main dimensions:

Length: 83.1 meters;

Beam: 22.5 meters;

Displacement: About 10,390 metric tons.

Its main power and propulsion unit will have a rated capacity of 4,200 kilowatt.