Baltic Shipyard has launched Russia’s third Project 22220 LK-60Ya nuclear-powered icebreaker, Ural, into the water during a ceremony at its facility St. Petersburg on Saturday, May 25.
“Today we are floating the third ship, or the second serial one of Project 22220 – the Ural. They are the ships from new generation icebreakers of that class that we pin our hopes on in exploration of the Northern Sea Route. It is a principally new ship,” TASS news agency quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov as saying at the ceremony.
Construction of the Ural started on 25 July 2016 and she is expected to enter service in 2021.
Project 22220 icebreakers have an overall length of 173 m, breadth of 34 m, design draught is 10.5 m and a minimal operating draught of 8.55 m. The dual-draught design will enable ships to operate in both Arctic waters and mouths of polar rivers. The ships have a displacement of 33,540 tonnes or 25,450 tonnes without ballast.
Once entering service, Project 22220 vessels will be the largest and most powerful icebreakers ever constructed, surpassing their predecessors, Arktika class nuclear-powered icebreakers.
The vessels will be equipped with two RITM-200 nuclear reactors, with a thermal capacity of 175 MW each. The propulsion power of this class of ships will be 60 MW which is why this class is sometimes referred as LK-60.
The icebreakers have been classified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) as the ice class, Icebreaker9. The maximum icebreaking capability of project 22220 vessels is 3.0 m and they are intended for the Northern Sea Route along the Russian Arctic coast.
The first ship of the class, Arktika (Arctic), was laid down on 5 November 2013 and was launched on 16 June 2016. She is expected to enter service this year. The second ship of this class, Sibir (Siberia), was laid down on 26 May 2015 and was launched on 22 September 2017.
In July 2018, it was announced Russian Defence Ministry intends to place an order for additional two project 22220 icebreakers by 2019, for a total of five vessels to be constructed at Baltic Shipyard. The cost for the two vessels is estimated at RUB100 billion ($US1.5 billion).
The new vessels will be operated by FSUE Atomflot (Rosatomflot), part of the Rosatom State Corporation. FSUE Atomflot maintains the world’s only fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. In addition to cargo transportation along the Northern Sea Route, the Atomflot organizes tourist cruises, the profit from which amounts to 6-7% of the company’s total profit.