Tuesday, July 2, 2024

"Russia’s New ‘Combat Icebreaker’ Heads For Sea Trials"

From gCaptain, July 2: 

Russia continues to push forward with the rapid renewal and expansion of its icebreaker fleet. In addition to commissioning three new nuclear icebreakers in the last four years, with three more currently under construction, Russia’s first armed combat icebreaker, Ivan Papanin, is now headed for open water factory trials. 

Ivan Papanin was laid down in 2017 and is expected to join Russia’s Northern Fleet by the end of 2024. Two additional vessels of the type are under construction for the naval units of the country’s border patrol.

“The patrol ship Ivan Papanin, built for the Russian Navy at the Admiralty Shipyards, has entered factory sea trials. During this stage of the trials, the functioning of the propulsion system and onboard equipment systems will be checked,” the Russia Ministry of Defense announced in a statement. 

Unlike nuclear icebreaking vessels operated by state-owned Atomflot, which primarily serve to escort merchant vessels through the icy waters of the Northern Sea Route, the combat icebreakers are equipped with offensive capabilities. They include the 76mm AK-176MA gun and pre-installed launchers for Uran anti-ship and Kalibr-NK cruise missiles.

With a displacement of around 9,000 tonnes Ivan Papanin is around half the size of the delayed U.S. Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter. 

Capable of breaking through five and a half feet of ice it will be able to access most of the Arctic Ocean unassisted, except during the depth of winter. Its capabilities are comparable to Norway’s Svalbard icebreaking patrol vessel, though the Russian counterpart will be much heavier armed....