Russia’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker of project 22220, Arktika, which recently arrived in Murmansk after completing ice tests in the North Pole region, will be put into operation on 21 October, according to the Deputy Director General for Economics and Finance at Atomflot, Andranik Kocharian. “
The flag of the Russian Federation will be raised on it, and it will begin operations - maintenance of the Northern Sea Route, working in deep water, as well as in shallow water in the channels of Siberian rivers," he said.
He noted that four more icebreakers are currently being built in the 22220 series - Siberia, Ural and two so far without a name. Their commissioning dates are 2021, 2022, 2024 and 2026. Also, the construction of lead icebreaker "Leader" is underway, which is expected to be commissioned in 2027.
Arktika covered 4800 nautical miles in 21 days in ice fields of various thicknesses. “During the passage, we specially went to the geographic point of the North Pole in order to collect the maximum amount of information about the operation of a nuclear icebreaker in ice conditions,” noted Konstantin Knyazevsky, deputy general director for Fleet Construction and head of the Atomflot Representative Office in St Petersburg.
“The results obtained confirmed the design characteristics of the vessel. At 50% of its power, the vessel overcame all the ice fields encountered in the polar region. This was achieved thanks to the unique contours of the ship's hull," he said. In ice fields of various thicknesses, the Arktika commissioning crew tested the operation of the propeller-rudder complex and the ship's electric propulsion system.
Arktika left the outfitting quay at the Baltic Shipyard in St Petersburg for its home port of Murmansk on 22 September. On 3 October, it reached the North Pole.