The Ural, a third nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220, was launched into the water at the Baltic Shipyards in St. Petersburg on Saturday, TASS reported.
“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,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said at the ceremony.
According to Baltic Shipyards Director General Alexei Kadilov, these icebreakers are powered by a new module nuclear reactor, which is much more powerful than on previous vessels of Project 22220, along with a brand-new electric propulsion system made in Russia.
“And the most important thing is a new turbine which will provide 40-year operation for the icebreaker,” Kadilov told reporters.
The universal nuclear-powered icebreakers of Project 22220 are designed to become the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreakers. Besides the Ural, the Arktika and the Sibir vessels are under construction at the Baltic Shipyards.
After being put into service, the icebreakers of that class will keep navigation in the Arctic open all year round. They will be capable of breaking through ice up to three meters thick to make way for convoys of ships. Apart from that, the icebreakers will help ensure transportation of hydrocarbons from the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas to Asia Pacific.