Thursday, September 24, 2020

"Despite major technical troubles, Russia's new icebreaker Arktika sets course for Barents Sea"

I've seen reports that this new series of ships are the world's most powerful icebreakers but where it counts, getting through the thick stuff, if memory serves the 50 Years of Victory is still the top dog.
From The Barents Observer:

With only two of its three engines in operation, Russia's new nuclear-powered icebreaker is on its maiden voyage to icy waters.
The ship on the 22nd September set out from the Baltic Yard in St. Petersburg with course towards the north. Before it arrives in home base Murmansk, it will break through sea-ice north of the Franz Josef archipelago, Rosatom informs.

According to the shipowner, the Arktika is due to arrive in Murmansk in about two weeks.
The sailing to Murmansk has been disputed by experts as the ship has only two of its three engines working. It was during sea trials in the Baltic Sea in February this year that a short circuit caused serious damage to the winding in one of the three electro engines.
Consequently, one of the ship’s three propellers is not working.

In a comment to the Barents Observer, Director of Bellona Murmansk Andrey Zolotkov in April 2020 underlined that the Arktika should have remained in St.Petersburg until the engine is fixed.
Zolotkov questions the maneuverability of a ship when one of three propellers is not working.
“Other nuclear-powered icebreakers always have spare blades on board ready to replace damaged ones while sailing in the Arctic.”...

The Barents Observer goes on to say the new ship can get through 2.2 meters of ice, and some Russian media says 3 meters.
However, from May 2019:
Russia Floats Another Nuclear Icebreaker 
Launch of icebreaker «Ural» will give boost to year-around Northern Sea Route shipping
This is the current world heavyweight champ, 50 Years of Victory:

Although not as powerful as the new ships it has superior ice breaking capabilities: up to 5 metres (16 feet) by ramming versus 3 metres (10 feet) for the new machines,

As noted in the January post on the new Russian icebreaking submarine:
For the big guy, "50 Years of Victory", the Rosatom people advertise its "1300 rooms" which sounds a lot like a troop transport to me, big enough for an entire Russian naval infantry brigade with room to spare.