Atomic Icebreaker Headed to NSR


Atomic Icebreaker Headed to NSR

More nuclear-powered icebreakers will be deployed in the Arctic by Russia in the near future. According to a statement issued by the United Shipbuilding Corporation on 21 December, Sibir, an Arktika-class icebreaker built at the Baltic Shipyard, has recently completed its sea trials. This means that the advanced icebreaking ship with an installed power of 60 MW, the second in the Project 22220 family, is ready for its Arctic deployment.

In the course of a week-long trial run staged in the Gulf of Finland, a team of experts was testing the ship’s performance. With Sibir being back to the Baltic Shipyard, St. Petersburg, preparations are underway for a voyage to the polar city of Murmansk, the ship’s future home port. The icebreaker is expected to be formally commissioned in late December this year, while the flag-raising ceremony is likely to be scheduled for early 2022.

In turn, Arktika, the first icebreaker to have been built under Project 22220, left Murmansk for the Eastern Sector of the Northern Sea Route for the first time. According to Atomflot, the ship’s operating company, Arktika is headed to the Port of Pevek in the East Siberian Sea. The ship has been tasked to escort a four-vessel convoy carrying cargo for several projects being implemented in Chukotka.

The escort mission in this specific part of the Arctic Ocean will be the first one in Arktika’s career. According to Atomflot, it will be of significant importance in terms of transforming the NSR into an all-season route. The data collected during the mission will be used by Atomflot to draft recommendations concerning winter navigation on the NSR.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
24 December 2021
Arctic Today