A flag-raising ceremony of Ilya Muromets icebreaker was declared operational on November 30 at Admiralty Shipyard in Saint Petersburg, commemorating the delivery of the icebreaker (also known as Project 21180) as a special purpose ship to the Russian Navy. Vice admiral of Russian Navy Viktor Barsuk attended the ceremony.
“We now commission a vessel that is much more than a regular icebreaker. The vessel will serve for good of the Russian Navy,” Barsuk said.
The construction of the new auxiliary icebreaker was awarded by the Russian Navy to Saint Petersburg-based Admiralty Shipyard on March 21, 2014. She was designed by the Russian Vympel Design Bureau as Project 21180, with technical projecting done by the Admiralty Shipyard engineer center. The construction began in October of 2014, with the keel of the vessel laid on 23 April 2015.
She was launched as Ilya Muromets on June 10, 2016, with the tests beginning on July 22, 2017. She was signed on November 27, 2017.
Ilya Muromets is the first icebreaker built for the Russian Navy in almost 40 years, classified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping as Icebreaker6 AUTI ICSFF3WS EPP HELIDEC Special purpose ship. She will be assigned to Northern Fleet, and will be used to support the the arctic units of the Russian Navy.
Initially Ilya Muromets was intended to be the lead ship of a series of four icebreakers, however the Ministry of Defense decided not to begin the serial production of the Project 21180 due to high cost of the vessels, and instead focus on building three smaller Project 21180M icebreakers costing with about two thirds of the displacement and more limited functionality compared to Ilya Muromets.