Icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin to have trial run in Arctic in spring 2020
A trial run of the diesel-electric icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin has been completed while the sea-ice trial run is scheduled to take place after the vessel is handed over to the customer, provided the ice is thick enough to carry out the tests, in March or April 2020, the Admiralteiskiye Verfi news service reported.
"The Admiralteiskiye Verfi Company (as part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, or USC) has completed the in-house trial run and state tests at sea of the diesel-electric icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin," the press release says. "… In keeping with the government contract, the vessel will be put to a sea-ice trial run in the northern polar seas after it is handed over to the customer, because the ice will only get as thick and strong as it is required to carry out the tests in March or April 2020."
The icebreaker has already returned back to the dock for inspection and is being given the final touches. "The icebreaker's technical specification was tested successfully," the news service reports. "The icebreaker's manual and automatic control systems, navigation and communications systems and radar stations operated in normal mode. The vessel's performance without watch-standing by the crew was checked over a period of 24 hours when the vessel was only controlled from the conning bridge." According to the press release, during the tests a helicopter took off and landed on the icebreaker's bow and stern in the daytime and at night and all this time its connections with the icebreaker remained stable.
On November 27, 2018, a fire broke out on the icebreaker that was under construction at the time. The fire covered 300 square meters. One person suffered from burns. In December 2018, head of the USC Alexei Rakhmanov told journalists that after the fire the launch of the icebreaker could be delayed up to three months, the time needed to replace the damaged equipment, but the vessel would be commissioned in 2019 as planned. The corporation estimated damages at 150 million rubles.
The icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin is one of the world's most powerful diesel-electric icebreakers. The vessel of 22,300 tons' displacement is capable of speeds of up to 17 knots in ice-free water and can pass through a continuous expanse of ice up to three meters thick covered with 20 centimeters of snow at a speed of two knots forward and back. The icebreaker has a crew of 38 and can remain self-sufficient for a total of 61 days. The icebreaker is intended for providing support and towing vessels through ice and can take research expeditions to the Arctic or the Antarctic and back and deliver the necessary supplies to them. The icebreaker can also be used to extinguish fires.