Friday, June 10, 2016

First Russian ice-breaker in 45 years floated out

The Russian navy's first new icebreaker in decades, the Ilya Muromets, was floated out during a ceremony Friday in St. Petersburg, the Tass news agency reports.

The diesel-electric lead ice-breaker's floating out was symbolic for Russia, as the nuclear-powered Lenin icebreaker was laid down the same slipway 60 years ago, Admiralty Wharves CEO Alexander Buzakov told Tass.

The Ilya Muromets will be transferred to the navy next year and other ice-breakers will be laid down in the slipway for Arctic operations, he said.

A decision on building a series of Ilya Muromets-class icebreakers will be made once the lead vessel's performance is assessed, United Shipbuilding Corporation head Alexei Rakhmanov told Tasss.

The Ilya Muromets was laid down in April 2015. It displaces 6,000 tons, features a 9,000 mile endurance and can operate autonomously for 60 days.

It can operate both as an icebreaker and a seagoing tug and patrol ship.

Russia and the United States are increasingly turning attention to their Arctic capabilities...


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