Arktika (2016 icebreaker)

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Artika 2016.jpg
Name: Arktika (Арктика)
Namesake: Russian for the Arctic
Operator: FSUE Atomflot
Builder: Baltic Shipyard, Saint Petersburg
Cost: RUB 36.959 billion[1]
Yard number: 05706[2]
Laid down: 5 November 2013[3]
Launched: 16 June 2016[4]
Sponsored by: Valentina Matviyenko[5]
  • December 2017 (contract)
  • May 2020 (current estimate)[6]
Status: Under construction
General characteristics
Class and type: Project 22220 icebreaker
Displacement: 33,540 tonnes
Length: 173.3 m (569 ft)
Beam: 34 m (112 ft)
Height: 51.25 m (168 ft)[8]
Draught: 10.5 m (34 ft)
Installed power: Two RITM-200 nuclear reactors, two turbogenerators
Propulsion: Nuclear-turbo-electric; three shafts (3 × 20 MW)
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Crew: 74

Arktika (Russian: Арктика, tr. Arctic, IPA: [ˈarktʲɪkə]) is a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker currently under construction at Baltic Shipyard in Saint Petersburg.[9] She is the lead ship of Project 22220 icebreakers and, once in service, will supersede the Arktika-class icebreakers as the largest and most powerful icebreaker ever constructed.[10]

Development and construction[edit]


In the early 1990s, the Russian research institutes and design bureaus developed a successor for the 1970s Arktika-class nuclear-powered icebreakers as part of a wider icebreaker fleet renewal program initiated shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[11] The new 60-megawatt icebreaker, referred to using a type size series designation LK-60Ya,[note 1] would feature a so-called dual-draft functionality which would allow the vessel to operate in shallow coastal areas after de-ballasting.[12] Although the preliminary designs had been developed more almost two decades earlier, the LK-60Ya design was finalized in 2009 as Project 22220 by Central Design Bureau "Iceberg"[13] and the construction of the first vessel was awarded to Saint Petersburg-based Baltic Shipyard in August 2012.[14] Two additional contracts in May 2014 and August 2019 have increased the number of Project 22220 icebreakers under construction or on order to five.[15][16]


The construction of the first Project 22220 icebreaker was awarded to Baltic Shipyard, the sole bidder in the public tender, on 3 August 2012 with a contract value of 36.959 billion rubles (about US$1.16 billion).[14] The steel-cutting ceremony, which marked the beginning of construction, was held on 1 November 2012[1] and the keel was laid on the slipway on 5 November 2013.[3] By August 2015, 70 % of the hull assembly including the icebreaking bow had been completed, and the construction was proceeding according to the original schedule according to which the vessel would be delivered by December 2017.[17] The launching ceremony, initially scheduled for May 2016,[18] was held on 16 June 2016.[4][5] The new icebreaker was named Arktika, Russian for the Arctic, after her predecessor.

While the hull of the icebreaker was still being assembled on the slipway, the shipyard began the construction of the 2,400-tonne (2,400-long-ton) superstructure that would be installed after launching.[19] Similarly, the 180-tonne (180-long-ton) RITM-200 nuclear reactors were installed after launching: the first one on 2 September 2016 and the second one on 21 September.[20]

By early 2017, it was revealed that the construction of the lead ship of Project 22220 icebreakers had fallen behind schedule and Baltic Shipyard was forced to apply for a one-year contract extension from the Russian Government. The reason for the delay was largely related to the Ukrainian crisis that began in November 2013. The ship's two main turbogenerators, initially ordered from the Ukrainian state-owned company Turboatom, had to be sourced domestically from Zavod Kirov-Energomash due to the deteriorated Russia–Ukraine relations. Similarly, the supplier of the integrated electric propulsion system was changed from the GE Power Conversion, a subsidiary of General Electric, to TSNII SET, a subsidiary of Krylov State Research Center.[21][22][23] On 12 July 2017, President Vladimir Putin ordered the United Shipbuilding Corporation to postpone the delivery of the new icebreaker to 2019.[24] Further delays in the manufacturing and testing of the steam turbines later pushed this deadline to May 2020.[25]

The quayside trials, which included testing of the ship's systems while connected to shore power, began in May 2018.[26] One year later, Arktika's reactors received their first batch of nuclear fuel[27] and in October 2019 the ship's nuclear power plant was brought to the minimum level of controlled reaction. The Russians referred to this event as "physical launching" of the reactors.[28]

Arktika began the first stage of sea trials in Gulf of Finland under diesel power on 12 December 2019. Over the course of these two-day trials, the ship's electric propulsion plant, navigation systems, deck equipment and other installations were thoroughly tested.[29][30] During the trials, the vessel achieved a speed of 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) on diesel power.[31] The final phase of sea trials, during which the vessel will be tested under nuclear power, are scheduled for March–April 2020.[32]


Designed for 40 years of reactor life, Arktika will require refuelling every seven years with less than 20% Uranium-235 enriched fuel.[33] It will be able to navigate through ice up to almost three meters thick.[34][35] The icebreaker is fitted with two RITM-200 reactors which cost 8 billion rubles (US$140 million) each.[36]


  1. ^ The type size series designation "LK-60Ya" (Russian: ЛК-60Я) comes from the Russian language word for "icebreaker" (Russian: ледокол, romanizedledokol), propulsion power (60 megawatts), and the first letter of the Russian word for "nuclear" (Russian: ядерное, romanizedyadernoye).


  1. ^ a b "Baltic Shipyard holds steel-cutting for LK-60 icebreaker of Project 22220". PortNews. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  2. ^ "VNIIR-Progress St. Petersburg supplies equipment to Atomflot nuclear icebreakers". ABS Electro. 26 December 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Baltiysky Zavod lays down multipurpose icebreaker Arktika". PortNews. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Baltiysky Zavod launches Arktika, lead nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220 (photo)". PortNews. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b "The launching ceremony of the world's largest nuclear icebreaker took place at the Baltijskiy Zavod in Saint-Petersburg". Rosatom. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  6. ^ "ОСК планирует передать заказчику ледокол "Арктика" в мае 2020 года" (in Russian). TASS. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Arktika (9694725)". Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Как ледокол "Арктика" готовился к ходовым испытаниям" (in Russian). 15 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  9. ^ "The Nuclear icebreaker fleet". State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM. May 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Video: World's Largest Ice-Breaker Launched in St. Petersburg Shipyard". Russia Insider. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  11. ^ Tsoy, L.G.; Stoyanov, I.A.; Mikhailichenko, V.V.; Livshits, S.G. (1995), "Perspective types of Arctic icebreakers and their principal characteristics" (PDF), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions, 1995 (POAC'95), 1, pp. 13–26
  12. ^ Tsoy, L.G. (1994), "New generation Arktika class nuclear icebreaker feasibility study", Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Ships and Marine Structures in Cold Regions, 1994 (ICETECH'95), pp. P1–P8
  13. ^ "Largest icebreaker construction now underway". The Motorship. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Baltic Shipyard to build new large nuclear-powered icebreaker (Project 22220 LC-60YA)". Navy Recognition. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Baltiysky Shipyard to build three new icebreakers by 2020". Barents Observer. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Russia's ATOMFLOT Orders 4th & 5th Project 22220 Nuclear-Powered Icebreakers". Naval News. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Baltiysky Zavod completes construction of fore body of lead nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (photo)". PortNews. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Baltiysky Zavod schedules launching of lead nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, Project 22220, for May 26, 2016". PortNews. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Superstructure of nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, Project 22220, laid down at Baltiysky Zavod (photo)". PortNews. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  20. ^ "RITM-200 reactor plant installed on board nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika (photo)". PortNews. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  21. ^ ""Балтийский завод — Судостроение" срывает сроки сдачи атомных ледоколов для "Росатома"" (in Russian). 28 February 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Troubled waters for Russia's nuclear icebreaker program". The Barents Observer. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  23. ^ "TSNII SET (KSRC affiliate) and JSC Baltyisky Zavod signed a contract on delivery of integrated electric propulsion systems for a series of nuclear icebreakers 22220". Krylov State Research Centre. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Vladimir Putin orders to postpone delivery of nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika to 2019". PortNews. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  25. ^ "One of Russia's New Nuclear Icebreakers Facing Delays". Bellona. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  26. ^ "Baltiysky Zavod starts mooring trials of Arktika icebreaker (photo)". PortNews. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  27. ^ "Rosatomflot: Arktika icebreaker reactor to start up in autumn".
  28. ^ "Nuclear Reactor of Russia's Powerful Arktika Icebreaker Physically Launched". Sputnik. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  29. ^ "Russia's Largest Icebreaker Starts Sea Trials". Maritime Executive. 14 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Атомный ледокол "Арктика" вышел на ходовые испытания" (in Russian). United Shipbuilding Corporation. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  31. ^ "Nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika completes sea trials". Teller Report. 14 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  32. ^ "Lead nuclear-powered icebreaker of Project 22220, Arktika, left for sea trials". PortNews. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  33. ^ "Project 22220 / Project LK-60 / Arktika". Archived from the original on 7January 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  34. ^ Eilertsen, Hege (12 August 2014). "New Russian Icebreakers Ready to Operate from 2017". High North News. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  35. ^ "Russia's Maiden Nuclear Icebreaker to Be Floated Out in Mid-2016". Sputnik. 20 May 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  36. ^ "The biggest and powerful nuclear Russian Arctic ice breaker in the world will be floated in May,". Center for Strategic Studies and forecasts. 14 January 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

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