Future of icebreaker fleet on President’s table
In a recent meeting between President Putin and cabinet ministers, Rogozin said that four of five of Russia’s current nuclear-powered icebreakers might be taken out service in 2017 and 2018 and that only one, the «50 Let Pobedy», thereafter will remain in operation.
«Over the next 1,5 years, we should make decisions about the retirement of the old icebreaker fleet and the additional construction of third and fourth series icebreakers», Rogozin said.
Russia today has a total of five icebreakers in service, the «Taymyr», «Sovetsky Soyuz», «Vaigach» «Yamal» and «50 Let Pobedy», two of them of the Taymyr-class and three of the Arktika-class. The vessels are all based Atomflot, nuclear power agency Rosatom’s port in Murmansk. Under construction are two LK-60 model nuclear-powered vessels, as well as several different class diesel-engined ships.
According to the deputy prime minister, Russia is also continuing the development of the «Lider», a new model icebreaker twice as powerful as the LK-60. The Krylov State Research Center will by the end of the year complete the design of the ship, he confirmed. The «Lider» will have engine power up to 130 MW. It will be able to break through four meter thick ice and open shipping lanes for 200,000 ton ships.
«This will be discussed in detail in connection with the volume growth on the Northern Sea Route and our plans for the development of Arctic offshore fields», Rogozin said in the meeting, a transcript published by the Kremlin reads.
«In general, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, I would like to say that all efforts taken to create the icebreaker fleet, to restore it, are closely connected with our plans for enhanced national security in the Arctic region […] and are under the direct control of the State Commission on development of the Arctic», the Deputy PM underlined.