Big decisions for Russia on future of icebreaker fleet

Russian icebreaker "Taymyr" on its way through Kola Bay. The future of the country's icebreaker fleet is much discussed given current changes in Arctic climate and shipping patterns. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Russian icebreaker “Taymyr” on its way through Kola Bay. The future of the country’s icebreaker fleet is much discussed given current changes in Arctic climate and shipping patterns. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Over the next 1,5 year, decisions should be taken about he construction of additional third and fourth generation vessels, Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin tells President Putin.

In a recent meeting between President Putin and cabinet ministers, Rogozin said that four of five of Russia’s current nuclear-powered icebreakers might be taken out service in 2017 and 2018 and that only one, the «50 Let Pobedy», thereafter will remain in operation.

«Over the next 1,5 years, we should make decisions about the retirement of the old icebreaker fleet and the additional construction of third and fourth series icebreakers», Rogozin said.

Current fleet

Russia today has a total of five icebreakers in service, the «Taymyr», «Sovetsky Soyuz», «Vaigach» «Yamal» and «50 Let Pobedy», two of them of the Taymyr-class and three of the Arktika-class.  The vessels are all based Atomflot, nuclear power agency Rosatom’s port in Murmansk. Under construction are two LK-60 model nuclear-powered vessels, as well as several different class diesel-engined ships.

According to the deputy prime minister, Russia is also continuing the development of the «Lider», a new model icebreaker twice as powerful as the LK-60. The Krylov State Research Center will by the end of the year complete the design of the ship, he confirmed. The «Lider» will have engine power up to 130 MW. It will be able to break through four meter thick ice and open shipping lanes for 200,000 ton ships.

Northern Sea Route

«This will be discussed in detail in connection with the volume growth on the Northern Sea Route and our plans for the development of Arctic offshore fields», Rogozin said in the meeting, a transcript published by the Kremlin reads.

«In general, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, I would like to say that all efforts taken to create the icebreaker fleet, to restore it, are closely connected with our plans for enhanced national security in the Arctic region […] and are under the direct control of the State Commission on development of the Arctic», the Deputy PM underlined.

Related stories from around the North:

Asia:  Full steam ahead for Asian icebreakers in the Arctic this summer, Blog by Mia Bennett

Canada:  Ship trouble in the Arctic on the rise: report, Alaska Public Radio Network

China: China’s silk road plans could challenge Northern Sea Route, Blog by Mia Bennett

Finland: New Finland icebreaker can operate sideways with asymmetrical hull, Yle News

Norway:  Arctic shipping – The myths, the realities & the challenges ahead, Eye on the Arctic

Russia:  Arctic tests for Russia’s new icebreakers, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  Sweden wants lower emissions for new icebreakers, Radio Sweden

United States: No ‘national imperative’ for icebreakers: U.S. official, Alaska Dispatch News

 

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published.