Russia’s New Nuclear Icebreaker, Largest, Most Powerful

NPR has some photos of the launching of Russia’s as yet uncompleted, 568 foot long nuclear powered icebreaker. which will be the largest and most powerful icebreaker in the world. The NPR story provided a link to a Sputniknews story.

According to,

“The Project 22220 vessel is 189.5 yards long (568.5 ft–Chuck) and 37.1 yards wide (111.3 ft). The ship displaces 33,540 metric tons.”

That is almost three times as large as the Polar Star.

A second ship of the class is also expected to be completed before 2020.

Interestingly, while Russian navy projects are frequently subject to delays, this icebreaker is being launched more than a year earlier than originally planned.

Thanks to David for bringing this to my attention. 


10 thoughts on “Russia’s New Nuclear Icebreaker, Largest, Most Powerful

  1. Actually, the original launching date for Arktika was in November 2015, so at least the launching was slightly delayed. However, it does not mean that final delivery of the vessel – scheduled for 2017 – is delayed. Still, the vessel is only 35% complete according to a Russian online forum and was launched without superstructure and reactors.

    However, the other icebreaker projects in Russia are behind schedule: Novorossiysk was supposed to be delivered by the end of 2015 but is still in the shipyard, and Viktor Chernomyrdin is more than two years behind schedule. The former suffers from sanctions and exchange rates, and the latter had some serious design faults.

  2. Information about the new Russian nuclear power system. Notably its interval between refueling will double that of previous icebreakers, up to seven to nine years. By contrast USN carriers and subs are reaching a point where they can go 30 years without refueling.

  3. The second Project 22220/LK-60Ya/Arktika-class icebreaker launched:

    To be noted: “As previously reported by the Barents Observer, Russia’s new icebreakers are significantly behind schedule, allegedly due to the ruling east-west sanction regimes. Steam generators for the vessels were originally to be delivered by Turboatom, a Ukrainian company based in Kharkiv. The current war in eastern Ukraine put a quick stop to that deal. Also General Electrics’ deliveries of the electric propulsion systems for the icebreakers was stalled and Russian systems were used instead.”

    Curiously, the Russian sources reported the “minimum draft” of Sibir as 8.65 m, which is 15 cm (6″) more than what was initially claimed. It’s not a big difference, but still indicates some weight increase during the construction over initial estimations…

    • According to yesterday’s Kommersant (in Russian), the soon-to-be-commissioned Arktika is overweight and the minimum operational draft of the vessel has increased by about 75 cm (2½ ft) to 9.3 m. This would effectively prevent the icebreaker from operating in shallow river estuaries.

      A quick back-of-the-envelope calculations would seem to indicate that the weight increase is about 3000 tons.

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