Russia fields most powerful nuclear icebreaker

The Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker Arktika, the most powerful ship in its class, has officially entered service with the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet. Atomflot General Director Mustafa Kashka and his counterpart Alexei Kadilov from the Baltic Shipyard signed the acceptance document at the Murmansk seaport.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also attended the signing ceremony. In his speech, he noted that Russia indisputably led the way in developing northern regions. “We are proud of the fact that Russia is the only country to develop a nuclear icebreaker fleet, which is now receiving the Arktika, another multirole nuclear icebreaker,” he added.

Mikhail Mishustin also noted that the “expansion of the icebreaker fleet will make it possible to completely unlock the transport potential of the Northern Sea Route; draw the international business community’s interest in the transit corridor between Europe and Asia; and, of course, secure Russia’s leading positions in the strategically important Arctic region.”

Regarding the new icebreaker, Mikhail Mishustin noted its innovative equipment and powerful engine for breaking up ice-floes and navigating deep and shallow areas. “Construction of this vessel required substantial efforts and coordinated work, all the more so as the project’s first stage coincided with the introduction of anti-Russia sanctions. Most importantly, the icebreaker has been built at a Russian shipyard against all odds,” he said.

In conclusion, the prime minister thanked scientists, engineers, designers and everyone else involved in the project. “I would like to wish you every success and a bon voyage to the new icebreaker Arktika. Thank you,” Mishustin said.

In turn, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation CEO Alexei Likhachov said the Project 22220 multirole nuclear icebreaker Chukotka, the last ship in the series, would be laid down soon. He also expressed hope that construction of the most powerful nuclear icebreaker, Lider, would soon start at the Zvezda Shipyard.

The Project 22220 icebreakers are the largest and most powerful ships in their class. The Arktika has the following specifications:

Length: 173.3 meters

Beam: 34 meters

Displacement: 33,500 metric tons.

The ship can plow through three-meter-thick ice in the mouths of polar rivers and in the Arctic Ocean and can escort ship convoys.