Fincantieri Builds Medium Icebreaker for Norway

MarineLog brings us some details of the new Norwegian Icebreaker/Research vessel Kronprins Haakon which has been moved from Fincantieri’s Integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, Italy, where the bulk of the construction took place, to  Fincantieri Group member Vard’s Langsten shipyard in Norway, where it will be completed. Apparently it is behind schedule.

Full technical data is here.

It may not look like it, but it has a hangar for two medium size helicopters.

Length over all (LOA): 100,0m (328′)
Breadth: 21,0m (69′)
Draft: 8.5 m (28′)
Gross tonnage: 10900T

Maximum cruising range of approx. 15.000 nautical miles
Endurance 65 days at cruising speed
Designed to operate in winter ice with pressure ridges and multi-year ice
Accommodation for 55 persons in 38 cabins (15-17 crew).

There is space for 20 containers (20′)

“…project was said to have a total value of about 175 million Euros” ($215M–Chuck)

This looks like something that might evolve into our medium icebreaker. Might also make a pretty good Great Lakes icebreaker. 10,000 KW propulsion makes it about 50% more powerful than the USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30). Of course Marinette Marine, which is also a division of Fincantieri, and the yard that built the Mackinaw, would probably be happy to build one or more–and the ship is narrow enough to pass the Saint Lawrence Seaway locks. .

7 thoughts on “Fincantieri Builds Medium Icebreaker for Norway

  1. See also this link to Marine Log with a couple more videos:

    It looks like a very capable ship. Perhaps the current icebreaker program could be modified to take advantage? Anything from CG icebreaker, to USN AGB for arctic surveys and FON ops, to high-latitude support ship. Buy two or three to match the current program needs

    • That is where I got my info–linked in the post. It is worth a look. The diagram of the ship in the initial post is presented in a larger and more readable format on the technical information page.

  2. I find it interesting that there’s a 15-ton crane on the Same Side just Forward of the Flight Operations Center of the Flight Deck! I would have thought for safety reasons it would be on the Port Side of the Flight Deck…

    • Don’t think we would ever configure a flight deck like that. Only way to have the landing signals officer in a good place is to have the ship steaming in reverse during flight ops.

  3. RV Kronprins Haakon was designed by Rolls-Royce who were also responsible for the British polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough. If they participate in the medium icebreaker project as a designer, some features from these two vessels will likely find their way to their proposal.

    However, I’m not sure how suitable a high-end polar research vessel would be as a Great Lakes icebreaker. I’d rather tailor the design according to USCG’s needs than try to find out what missions this ship could complete.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. The medium ice rating is probably close to appropriate, but the configuration of Haakon is outstanding for research, but not for hard-work commerce/safety work.

      The Great Lakes needs a (probably 2 would be better) double-ended icebreaker which is optimized for clearing channels, ports, and respond to trapped vessels.

      The NSF / arctic-research mission could use a slightly bigger (~375′?) and slightly higher ice-class version of the Haakon to do the missions the Healy is doing. However, as the point has been made repeatedly here at Chuck’s Blog, Healy/research breakers are not “real” (heavy-duty) icebreakers.

      Thus, given the last sentence, the CG should have two arctic-level, heavy-duty icebreakers to handle McMurdo to the North Pole. These should be WAGBs, with the emphasis on the “B” (large).

      So, a couple medium WAGs for the Great Lakes, one medium-heavy research WAGB (for NSF/arctic research), and 2 heavy-duty WAGBs for polar missions.

      And, this doesn’t even scratch the need to replace the 140s.

      • Kronprins Haakon’s ice class (Polar Class 3) is already intended for “Year-round operation in second-year ice which may include multi-year ice inclusions”. In addition, the ship’s class notation “Icebreaker” allows it to “undertake aggressive operations in ice-covered waters” (quote from IACS Polar Class rules).

        In principle, the ice class should be selected based on the intended operational profile and area of the vessel. I’d say PC 3 would be sufficient for a medium CG icebreaker. The heavy could be PC 2 (just like CCG’s proposed polar icebreaker) and nothing needs to be PC 1.

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