Admiralty Shipyards, part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), launched the Russian Navy’s first Project 23550 patrol icebreaker, Ivan Papanin, during a ceremony at its facility in Saint Petersburg on Oct. 25.
A contract for the construction of two Project 23550 multipurpose icebreakers was awarded by the Russian Ministry of Defence to Admiralty Shipyards in April 2016.
Construction of Ivan Papanin began in September 2016 and the keel-laying ceremony was held in April 2017. The ship is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy by 2021. The second vessel of the class, Nikolay Zubov, will be laid down in 2020 with the delivery expected in 2024.
Designed by JSC Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau (CMDB), Project 23550 Ivan Papanin-class vessels are intended to perform the Russian Navy’s missions in Arctic waters. The vessels can operate independently and alongside other warships. The vessels are strengthened for navigation in ice-covered Arctic seas according to the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping ice class Arc6.
The vessels have a length of 114 meters, a beam of 18 meters, a draught of 6 meters and a full load displacement of about 8,500 tons.
The icebreakers will have a diesel-electric power plant with four 3,500-kilowatt Kolomna 28-9DG generating sets consisting of 16-cylinder 10D49 diesel engines driving Ruselprom alternators. The propulsion system includes two 6,300 kW shaft propellers and two bow thrusters.
The ships will have a maximum speed of 18 knots, an endurance of 60 days and a range of 6,000 nautical miles. They will be able to break through ice up to 1.5 meters (4 ft 11 in) thick.
Armament on Project 23550 ships will include a 76 mm AK-176MA main gun and eight 3M-54 Kalibr anti-ship missiles. They will be equipped with two Project 03160 Raptor high-speed patrol boats/Project 02800 landing assault boats, a Kamov Ka-32 helicopter, and a Project 23321 Manoul small hovercraft. The core crew is planned at 60 with accommodation for an additional 50 mission specialists.