Arktika Takes Its First Convoy to Chukotka

Arktika Takes Its First Convoy to Chukotka

Arktika, Russia’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker, has successfully performed its first icebreaking mission in the Eastern Sector of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) -- a challenging task for a newly repaired ship. According to its owner Atomflot, the icebreaker has recently led a convoy to the port of Pevek, Chukotka.

The convoy comprised of three ships delivered to Chukotka the cargo of construction materials and other goods for companies implementing their investment projects in the region. So far, Pevek is the most distant Arctic port visited by Arktika.

Arktika’s mission success is important for several reasons.

First, the voyage was in fact a test for the icebreaker which has recently undergone repairs involving the replacement of one of its two electric propulsion units. Second, the NSR’s Eastern Sector is known for being hard to navigate owing to its challenging ice conditions and harsh climate -- another test for the world’s biggest icebreaker commissioned in 2020.

Third, the experience gained during this mission means a lot for Arktika’s sister ships -- other icebreakers in the 22220 Project family being constructed at the Baltic Shipyard. The voyage to Pevek has reportedly helped reveal some important nuances pertaining to the ship’s performance and the ways to improve it.

Last but not least, Arktika’s deployment in this part of the Arctic marks the beginning of a series of trials and tests to better understand what should be done to make the NSR navigable all year round. Let us not forget that it is the Arktika-class icebreakers that are expected to deliver on this ambitious goal set by the Russian leadership.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
11 January 2022
Arctic Today