Eight Russian navy ships make ready for ice-free Northern Sea Route
This is the ninth year in a row that Russian Navy ships sail the Northern Sea Route. Destinations and port-calls are not yet announced, but traditionally the annual flotilla sails all east to Kotelny Island, where Russia has one of its new Arctic bases.
Kotelny is part of the New Siberian Islands in the Laptev Sea in the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route.
This year, the voyage will not be challenged by sea-ice. Already by 20th July, there was completely open waters across the Northern Sea Route. Normally, ice used to pack north of the Taymyr Peninsula, but for the 2020 season ships will find open waters across the vast seaway.
Additional to «Severomorsk», the two landing ships «Kondopoga» and «Aleksandr Otrakovsky» will be sailing, as well as the new navy icebreaker «Ilya Muromets», the tanker «Sergey Osipov», the minesweeper «Vladimir Gumanenko» and the rescue tugboat «Pamir». Together with the crane ship KIL-143 all these vessels have this week been training together in the Barents Sea, but are currently back in port in Severomorsk, making ready for the Arctic voyage, the press service of the Northern Fleet reports.
Several of the vessels have participated in previous years’ voyage where live-shooting exercises, landings, and anti-terror drills at locations like Dudinka and the Kotelny Islands were included.