Russia Aims it Big With Arktika, World's Largest Icebreaker Ship

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 19, 2016

Image: Baltic Shipyard

Image: Baltic Shipyard

 The floating out  of the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika in Russia’s St. Petersburg shows Russia's ambitions to control the top of the world in the 21st century.

 
The Arktika launched early on June 16, ahead of its original 2017 schedule.  Powered by two nuclear reactors, the 568 foot leviathan displaces over 33,000 metric tons of water and can break through ice 10 feet thick and 13 feet deep, according to Sputnik News.
 
With a crew of 75 people, the Arktika will operate in the Western and Eastern Arctic seasonally. Russia is the only country in the world to use nuclear-powered icebreakers.
 
Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko said: "It's hard to overestimate what has been done by our scientists, designers and shipbuilders. I am very proud of our country and the people who created such a ship."  
 
NPR suggests the move follows global warming’s increasing of Arctic shipping routes and the construction of Russian bases in the Arctic Circle
 
Russia already has more icebreakers than any other country - in fact, more icebreakers than all other countries combined.  
 
The Arktika's 'sister ships', "Sibir" and "Ural", are scheduled to launch in 2019 and 2020, respectively. 
 
According to the head of Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, the new vessel opens fundamentally new opportunities for Russia's defense capability and ensures year-round navigation in Arctic regions. The Arktika also marks a new era in the economic development of the Arctic region, he added. 
 
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