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Russia’s FSB To Receive a Project 23550 Patrol Icebreaker

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Russia's FSB To Receive a Project 23550 Patrol Icebreaker

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There are preparations for the conclusion of a contract for the construction of a patrol icebreaker for the Russian Security Service – the FSB, Kommersant reported, citing anonymous sources.

According to the report, the contract will be in the amount of 18 billion rubles ($286.5 million) and will be awarded to Vyborg Shipyard (VSZ), part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC).

Two such project 23550 patrol icebreakers are currently being built for the Russian Navy, at the Admiralty Shipyard.

For the shipyard, which is engaged in civilian shipbuilding, this is the first military order, and the award will help the enterprise in obtaining state support.

The laying of the ship is scheduled for the summer of 2020, while commissioning is reportedly planned for 2024.

The representative of the USC and the head of VSZ Alexander Solovyov declined to provide any comment.

Project 23500 icebreakers designed by the Almaz design bureau, are capable of serving as a tugboat, icebreaker and patrol ship and overcome ice with a thickness up to 1.7 meters. They have a Russian Maritime Register of Shipping class Arc7.

The Icebreakers are 114 meters long, the beam is 18 meters and the draft – 6 meters. They have a displacement of 6,800 tons, and 8,500 at full load.

The installed power comes from 4 × Kolomna 28-9DG (4 × 3,500 kW).

The icebreaker has a diesel-electric propulsion with two shafts at 6,300 kW each. It can reach a maximum speed of 18 knots. Its range is 6,000 nautical miles.

Its complement is 49, as core, and 47 as extra mission crew.

The patrol icebreaker is armed with a 76.2 mm AK-176MA naval gun and 8 3M-54 Kalibr missiles. It has a helipad and a hangar for a Ka-32 helicopter.

Russia's FSB To Receive a Project 23550 Patrol Icebreaker

Click to see full-size image

Currently, out of the two ships that are being constructed at the Admiralty Shipyard, one was laid down on October 25th, 2019 – the Ivan Papanin. It is expected to be commissioned in 2023.

The ships are designed to protect the Arctic water resources, escort and tug detained vessels to the port, escort and support of auxiliary vessels.

Boris Leikis, chief designer of the project, called the Project 23550 patrol icebreakers “a unique ship”, reminding that no other country in the world either develops or manufactures such a vessel which combines design features of combat ship and icebreaker. The vessel can operate independently to reach areas where other combat ships can’t without icebreaking escort.

So far, VSZ has built only civilian vessels: icebreakers, supply vessels, fishing trawlers, as well as drilling platforms for the development of offshore fields. Eight trawlers were contracted at the shipyard for a total value of 22.4 billion rubles ($356 million). A Kommersant source familiar with the situation said that VSZ was chosen as the contractor, because the service liked how the plant and its general director work.

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