On December 12th, 2019, the project 22220 universal nuclear icebreaker Arktika, built at the Baltic Shipyard, entered the first stage of sea trials, JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) announced.
The main goal of the first stage of testing is to check how the icebreaker works by just using its backup diesel generators.
Throughout the testing period, it is planned to check the functioning of the electric propulsion system and the possibility of transmitting motion to the shaft line.
The commissioning team, consisting of specialists from the Baltic Shipyard and customer representatives, will check the mechanical part of the power plant, ballast and general ship systems.
Deck mechanisms, anchor, mooring and boat devices will also be tested. One of the most important steps will be testing communications and navigation.
The first stage of sea trials of the Arktika nuclear icebreaker, according to the test program will be carried out in the Gulf of Finland and will last 4 days.
“Sea trials are a big event from the point of view of building a ship. Until the new year, we will conduct the first stage of testing, and after that we will be ready for complex tests. We will carry out the complete program of tests, then,” said Vadim Golovanov, a foreman at the construction said. “The icebreaker’s exit to the sea showed that the ship is in its final stage of construction (the icebreaker is 95% ready), enormous work has been done by the plant’s employees.”
“The start of sea trials is certainly a landmark event; everyone sees that the icebreaker has come to life and what it is capable of. The icebreaker will be handed over to the customer in May 2020, the state corporation Rosatom,” said Alexei Smirnov, manager of project 22220.
The Baltic Shipyard is constructing the project 22220 universal nuclear icebreaker Arktika, under a contract worth 36.959 billion rubles ($590 million) with the state corporation Rosatom, concluded in 2012.
Under a contract concluded on May 29, 2014 with the state corporation Rosatom, the Baltic Shipyard is also building two serial atomic icebreakers of Project 22220 (LK-60Ya) for a total cost of 84.4 billion rubles ($1.37 billion).
The laying of the first icebreaker under this contract (and the second in the series) Sibir was carried out at the Baltic Shipyard on May 26th, 2015, and it was launched on September 22nd, 2017. The laying of the third in the third universal nuclear icebreaker Ural was made at the Baltic Shipyard on July 25nd, 2016, and it was launched on May 25th, 2019.
The developer of project 22220 is PJSC Central Design Bureau Iceberg. Project 22220 icebreakers are equipped with a new type of RITM-200 two-reactor nuclear power plant with 60 MW shafts developed by Afrikantov OKBM OJSC and are the largest and most powerful icebreakers in the world.
The length of the universal nuclear icebreaker is 173.3 meters, the width is 34 meters, the draft stands at 10.5 meters, and the minimum working draft is 8.55 meters. Displacement will be 33,500 tons.
According to the terms of the contracts, the construction of the universal nuclear icebreaker Arktika should have been completed by December 30th, 2017, the universal nuclear icebreaker Sibir in December 2019, and the third universal nuclear icebreaker Ural in December 2020. However, by now, the deadlines for the delivery of the Arctic icebreaker have been postponed to May 2020, the Siberia icebreaker to the end of 2021, and the Ural icebreaker to August 2022.
In August 2019, Baltiysky Zavod JSC was awarded a contract worth about 100 billion rubles for the construction of the fourth and fifth project 22220 universal nuclear icebreakers.
The completion of their construction is expected by 2026.
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