Russian icebreaker fleet: where the climate is harsh


Diesel icebreaker "Ermak". Photo Fleetphoto.ru


Currently, Russia is one of the few states that have their own icebreaker fleet. More than 40 icebreakers of various classes are in operation, as well as several ships with a nuclear power plant. Both in quantity and in quality, the icebreaking fleet of Russia has no equal in the world. However, its development does not stop.

Current status


According to well-known data, 41 icebreakers of several classes and types are currently operating in our country. These vessels are capable of supporting port operations or conducting caravans along routes. All available icebreakers are distributed among several major operators and operate in all regions where their assistance is required.

The largest fleet of icebreakers belongs to the FSUE “Rosmorport” - more than 30 units. The fleet consists of several types of ships, and it is only about diesel icebreakers. Equipment of similar classes is also available at several shipping companies of different regions that are not part of Rosmorport.


The ship "Mudyug" in St. Petersburg. Photo Fleetphoto.ru

The small but important icebreaker fleet belongs to the Atomflot FSUE. This organization is responsible for the operation of four nuclear icebreakers, one ice-class nuclear lighter carrier and support vessels. There are plans to decommission part of the nuclear icebreakers with the replacement of new vessels.

Icebreakers are assigned to a number of Russian ports, but their bulk is concentrated in only a few places. The largest number of icebreakers is in St. Petersburg and Murmansk. Also, ships are based in Arkhangelsk, Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, etc. This distribution of the icebreaker fleet allows for the operation of ports and transportation in all major directions, both at sea and on some rivers.

Basic Types


The oldest icebreaker available is the Krasin vessel, built in 1917. It remained in service until 1998, after which it was turned into a museum and put up at the pier in St. Petersburg.


Nuclear-powered icebreaker "Yamal" in the sea. Photo by Rosatom / rosatom.ru

The oldest icebreaker in active service is Karu, also operating in St. Petersburg. This ship was built in the late fifties and until 1986 belonged to Finland. Now it is part of the Rosmorport fleet.

In the years 1973-76. Finland, by Soviet orders, built three diesel icebreakers, R-1039 Ermak Ave. All of them still remain in service. The head "Ermak" serves in St. Petersburg, the serial "Admiral Makarov" and "Krasin" - in Vladivostok. Vessels belong to the respective branches of Rosmorport.

Beginning in the mid-seventies, 21 icebreakers of projects 1101, 1105, 1108 and 1191 were built specifically for the USSR in Helsinki. 20 ships of these types still continue to serve. Their main operator is Rosmorport, but several vessels are owned by the Lena United River Shipping Company (postscript in Tiksi and Vostochny), as well as Norilsk Nickel (port of Dudinka). Other icebreakers serve in the Baltic, the Black Sea, the North and the Far East.


Infographics on the ship "50 years of Victory." Figure Rosatom / rosatom.ru

In the first half of the eighties, Finland built three Mudyug-type icebreakers. Now they serve as part of Rosmorport, based in St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk and Vladivostok.

In 2008-2009 Rosmorport received two vessels, pr. 21900 - Moscow and St. Petersburg, built by the Baltic Shipyard. Both icebreakers are attributed to St. Petersburg. In 2015-16 the icebreaking fleet in the Baltic Sea has replenished with three units of pr. 21900M.

The nuclear icebreaker fleet includes four ships of two types. These are the Yamal and 50 years of Victory icebreakers of Project 10520/10521 Arktika, as well as the Taimyr and Vaigach Project 10580. In the recent past, several other atomic icebreakers were in service, but their operation has now been discontinued.


Icebreaker "St. Petersburg" project 21900. Photo Fleetphoto.ru

Recently, the formation of its own icebreaking group as part of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy has been ongoing. In 2017, the multipurpose patrol icebreaker Ilya Muromets, pr. 21180, was put into operation. Its task is to escort ships and ships, provide assistance and, if necessary, participate in hostilities.

Ships of the Future


In recent years, part of the atomic icebreakers of Atomflot had to be written off due to moral and physical obsolescence. For their replacement, pr. 22220 / LK-60YA was developed. Several of these vessels are already under construction; there are also plans for further construction.

The main icebreaker, LK-60Ya Ave., Arktika, was laid down at the Baltic Shipyard in 2012. Launching took place in June 2016. In October 2019, the reactor was launched, and since December the ship has been tested. The delivery of the icebreaker to the customer is scheduled for the current year.

The first production icebreaker, Siberia, was built in 2015 and was launched in September 2017. The vessel is not yet ready for testing, but work is ongoing. The expected completion date is 2021. In 2022, it is planned to commission the second serial icebreaker Ural. It was laid in 2016 and launched in 2019. Completion is being carried out. There is a contract for the fourth and fifth icebreakers of the series. Their laying will take place in 2020-21., Delivery - in 2024-26.


"Viktor Chernomyrdin" goes on trial, October 5, 2019 Photo by Fleetphoto.ru

In 2020, it is also planned to lay the lead ship of the new project 10510 / LK-110Ya / LK-120Ya “Leader”. The Zvezda shipbuilding complex will have to build three such icebreakers in a few years, which are distinguished by enhanced characteristics.

The diesel-electric icebreaker Victor Chernomyrdin ave. 22600 / LK-25 has not yet been handed over to Rosmorport. It was built in 2012 at the Baltic Plant; later the order was transferred to the Admiralty Shipyards. Due to a number of problems of various kinds, the deadlines for the delivery of the ship were repeatedly shifted, and the cost of its construction also increased. Sea trials of the icebreaker began only last fall.

In the interests of the Navy, the lead icebreaker of the updated pr. 21180M is being built. “Evpatiy Kolovrat” was laid at the end of 2018 and so far remains on the slipway. According to some reports, in the future there may appear an order for a second such vessel. Thus, the Navy is rebuilding its own icebreaking fleet, and its vessels are being created taking into account the specifics of military service.

General state


Now Russia has the largest icebreaker fleet in the world. In addition, our country is the only owner of nuclear icebreakers in the world. All this allows us to solve a wide range of economic, scientific, military and other tasks in a number of regions with a harsh climate. The presence of a large icebreaker fleet provides certain advantages, however, its construction and development is rather complicated.


Icebreaker "Ilya Muromets" from the Northern Fleet. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru

It is easy to see that the bulk of the available icebreakers were built in the seventies and eighties of the last century. With proper maintenance and timely repair, diesel vessels can continue to serve in the future. The situation with the nuclear fleet is different. In recent years, several such vessels have had to be decommissioned and disposed of due to the impossibility of extending the service life.

In fact, the Russian icebreaking fleet needs the systematic construction of new modern ships to gradually replace the existing ones. Similar measures have already been taken in the field of nuclear shipbuilding. In addition to the four nuclear-powered icebreakers, three new ones are under construction in the service, and the same amount will be laid in the foreseeable future.

Similar measures are being taken in the field of non-nuclear icebreakers, however, the most interesting pr. 22600 is constantly faced with various kinds of problems. Because of them, the world's largest diesel-electric icebreaker is still not ready for work.


Nuclear-powered icebreaker "Arctic" of the project LK-60YA during completion. Photo "Atomflot" / rosatomflot.ru

Of great interest is the program for the construction of specialized patrol icebreakers for the navy. Icebreakers specifically for the Navy have not been built for several decades, but now the situation is changing. The fleet has already received the lead ship of the new project, and soon the second will be put into operation. The presence of their own icebreakers will reduce the dependence of the Navy on civilian structures, as well as simplify the solution of a number of military tasks.

In general, the state of the domestic icebreaker fleet gives rise to optimism. Cash vessels cope with their work, and in the near future new ones will be added to them. There are some problems and shortcomings, but they do not have a special effect on the general situation. As a result, four dozen Russian icebreakers solve their tasks, providing economic and military activity in regions with a harsh climate.
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  1. Hunter 2 13 January 2020 05: 54 New
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    What can I say, I am proud of the Icebreaking Fleet of Russia! good
    I was surprised to learn that the most expensive tourist routes are to the Arctic on Icebreaker! Moreover, tickets for several years sold out!
    1. thanks 13 January 2020 06: 42 New
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      A lot of people in China travel to the Arctic, mostly noticed in Murmansk ... And they especially like traveling in winter - during the northern lights! Children conceived during this period are considered happy!
      1. arkadiyssk 13 January 2020 10: 56 New
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        Awesome story about the radiance, a pity fictional, because Tourists carry only in summer navigation.
        1. thanks 14 January 2020 00: 49 New
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          arkadiyssk! Learn Russian before writing nonsense. After traveling to the Arctic - there is an ellipsis. Next comes the conversation about Murmansk itself and the period of the northern lights! Or do you think that you alone live in Murmansk, and work or worked at the Atomflot FSUE. And the story is not made up - more need to communicate with the Chinese!
      2. Andrei Nikolaevich 20 February 2020 10: 55 New
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        We will turn into Beijing so soon)
    2. Angelo Provolone 13 January 2020 15: 02 New
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      What are you proud of? The price of tickets?
      Well, we have no conditions in Kamchatka, but a tour. crazy money tickets are worth it! Hooray!
    3. Crane 13 January 2020 17: 34 New
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      the most expensive tourist routes - to the Arctic on Icebreaker!
      ==
      Is it more expensive in Antarctica?
  2. Deck 13 January 2020 06: 52 New
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    The diesel icebreaker "Ermak" (1 photo) has great limitations due to the poor condition of the hull. In recent years, six or seven repairs of the Rosmorport icebreakers have been almost never carried out (not to mention the annual dock inspections). As a result of the work of the “effective managers” of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise, the technical management department was dispersed and the fleet was transferred to the management of the branches of the RMP.
    1. Paul Siebert 13 January 2020 10: 16 New
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      We must not forget that Russia is not only the "homeland of elephants" (the remains of an ancient trogonterium elephant were discovered in our region), but also the homeland of the world icebreaker fleet.
      In 1899, the first ever Ermak icebreaker was put into operation, having served its homeland in this capacity for 66 years!
      The design committee included our famous Admiral Makarov and no less eminent chemist Mendeleev.
      God himself ordered our great northern power to have the best icebreaker fleet in the world!
      1. Romka 13 January 2020 16: 41 New
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        Why does God Himself teach us so poorly to build nuclear powered ships (70% are built in Finland)?
        1. Paul Siebert 13 January 2020 16: 44 New
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          So I did not study at the seminary ...
          Go to church, ask God about the priest ...
        2. Ponchik78 13 January 2020 18: 55 New
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          70% of nuclear powered ships built in Finland? What kind of intellectual idiocy? Only Finland’s hulls of the Taimyr and Vaigach icebreakers were built in Finland. After that, they were towed to Leningrad and were completed at Soviet shipyards. All other nuclear powered ships were all built by the Baltic Shipyard.
          1. Romka 13 January 2020 18: 58 New
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            I agree, I got it wrong: it’s not right for nuclear-powered icebreakers - icebreakers. recourse
            1. Ponchik78 13 January 2020 19: 10 New
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              If the Finns knew how to build icebreakers well and quickly, why not take advantage of this? After the assault in WWII, they perfectly understood how to live near by the superpower. And there seemed to be no fraud on their part.
          2. Romka 13 January 2020 19: 10 New
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            Pay attention to the name of the equipment - "damned Anglo-Saxons". In the modern world, it is impossible to have everything "without any analogues in the world."
            1. Ponchik78 13 January 2020 19: 18 New
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              Absolutely right! Although the photo most likely wants the owners of the enterprise, and not the hopelessness of the lack of domestic equipment. Such equipment is being produced. I, all of a sudden, have the technical documentation for such a unit on the shelf in the closet)))
            2. Romka 13 January 2020 19: 27 New
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              In addition, the assembly and welding workshop is equipped with an automated line of flat sections manufactured by Pema (Finland). And that's great! If there are no proprietary technologies, they must be bought and implemented, training their specialists. Then the sanctions will be up to the “Iskander”.)))
        3. nPuBaTuP 14 January 2020 00: 43 New
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          nuclear powered ships (70% built in Finland)?

          Give the name of at least one nuclear-powered ship ...?
          1. Romka 14 January 2020 14: 59 New
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            I have already indicated above: I was mistaken, not nuclear powered icebreakers.
            According to Atomflot, which is responsible for the operation of nuclear ships, at the moment (2018) there are four operating nuclear icebreakers in Russia. Two vessels of the Arctic type: Yamal (built in 1992) and 50 years of Victory (built in 2007). And two atomic icebreakers of the Taimyr type: Taimyr (built in 1989) and Vaigach (commissioned in 1990).

            Designing two ships of the Taimyr type, like the entire Soviet civilian nuclear fleet, was carried out by the Iceberg Central Design Bureau. The construction was carried out, as indicated on the website of the bureau, in cooperation with the Finnish company "Vyartsilya Marine" (Wartsila Marine).

            The Finnish shipyard was responsible for the manufacture of hulls. A nuclear power plant based on the KLT-40M reactor was mounted on ships at the Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad.
            A similar cooperation scheme was also applied in the construction of a series of diesel-electric icebreakers of project 21900M. Murmansk, the first production icebreaker of this project, was laid down at the Finnish shipyard Arctech Helsinki, controlled at that time by the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). Note that now, USC is forced to reduce its share in the Finnish project due to sanctions.

            But most of all, the influence of Suomi is felt today in the design part. The development of the Finnish bureau Aker Arctic Technology formed the basis for the creation of icebreaker ships of the Aker Arc 130A project at the Vyborg Shipyard (VSZ) commissioned by Gazprom Neft to operate in the Gulf of Ob.


            Adaptation to the requirements of the Russian registry was carried out by the Marine Engineering Bureau (after which the project received the IBSV01 index), but the key technical solutions were developed by the Finnish side. Icebreaking ships Alexander Sannikov and Andrey Vilkitsky were created under the Arc 130A project.

            Future projects
            One way or another, the Finns are participating in the non-nuclear Russian icebreakers currently under construction.

            So, according to the Finnish project Arc 124 of the already mentioned Aker Arctic bureau, a port icebreaker Ob is being built at the Vyksa Shipyard to operate in Sabetta on the Yamal LNG project.
            The Finns put a lot of innovative solutions into the Ob ship, already known abroad, but new to domestic shipbuilding. In particular, in terms of the propulsive complex.
            It will not do without Aker Arctic when building an icebreaker using now trendy marine fuel - liquefied natural gas (LNG). Paying tribute to the ecology and the large volumes of LNG that have appeared in Russia, the nuclear scientists, now in charge of the Northern Sea Route, decided to build new icebreakers with the possibility of working on gas. The development of the first domestic LNG icebreaker project, again, is carried out by Finnish specialists.
      2. Ponchik78 13 January 2020 19: 02 New
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        Well, why such extremes) Ermak was the largest at the time of construction (and for the next two decades), but not the first in the world. Perhaps the first in the world it can be considered as an icebreaker of the Arctic class.
  3. pin_code 13 January 2020 07: 05 New
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    good that we are leaders. the main thing is not to lose leadership, both in the number of icebreakers and in the rate of renewal of vessels of this class. and it is desirable that civilian icebreakers be imprisoned in case of not good relations with "partners".
  4. rocket757 13 January 2020 07: 24 New
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    This is a SONG that will never end!
  5. vadimtt 13 January 2020 11: 02 New
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    I recommend to watch a great movie with the Yamal icebreaker in the title role - beautiful !!!
  6. mik193 13 January 2020 11: 12 New
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    I read the worst recently on the Internet. It turns out that Sovcomflot, which is strategically important for Russia, is included in the privatization plan. What will happen next - read the article here. https://topcor.ru/12671-rasprodazha-strany-kljuchevye-predprijatija-rossii-mogut-popast-v-ruki-zapada.html. There are no words, only letters, and all obscene.
  7. Free wind 13 January 2020 13: 37 New
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    I’m embarrassed to ask why such huge add-ons are necessary. Do aircraft carriers have many times less?
    1. mik193 13 January 2020 16: 28 New
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      The designers are trying to place the crew in the superstructure, there is less vibration. In the main building, in addition to the propulsion system, a large number of reserves to increase autonomy, auxiliary installations and premises.
  8. samaravega 13 January 2020 17: 45 New
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    As usual: the specific information is "zero point shish", one "rya-rya" from scratch. The question is simple: the site sucks from Ryabov Kirill or the site sucks from the state media that pay "rya-rya" for and without, or "Ryabov Kirill" (I repeat, I personally think that this is a "signboard" for which the whole a team of taxpayer money. Not a single con has yet been cited. Do you take an example from the President?) sucks from the site? Understand yourself, more damage to your site could not have been done by anyone and nothing, not even a nuclear war. The site level is solid and stable, like a ruble - below the baseboard. Good luck in the suction!
  9. Old26 13 January 2020 18: 27 New
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    Quote: Romka
    Why does God Himself teach us so poorly to build nuclear powered ships (70% are built in Finland)?

    Where did you count 70% If you count the atomic icebreakers of the Soviet Union, then only two of them were built in Finland - Taimyr and Vaigach. The remaining SEVEN atomic icebreakers were built on the heels of the Soviet Union. Plus an atomic lighter carrier of the ice class "Sevmorput". Plus three icebreakers LK60Ya under construction now. That is, in total the Soviet Union and Russia had 14 nuclear-powered icebreakers. Of which two are built in Finland - a total of 14%, but not 70%, as you have

    Quote: Batu Khan
    Weird! The great nuclear fleet of Great Russia is being built in little Finland! Why not build on domestic shipyards?

    The name of the nuclear icebreakers being built in Finland?
  10. trahterist 13 January 2020 18: 28 New
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    Icebreakers of Russia are probably the only Rare ships that sail under the flag of the Russian Federation, and not all kinds of Limassol with Valletta and other island misunderstandings.
  11. Tests 13 January 2020 23: 17 New
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    Thanks to Finland for our icebreakers! The building of the Arkhangelsk Sea and River Station everyone knows the bill of 500 rubles. Admire the icebreakers of Arkhangelsk: https: //fleetphoto.ru/photo/258178/?vid=4414
    on the site "Water Transport" came through the "Icebreaker" Captain Evdokimov. "
    But the photo of the Mudyug icebreaker in the material is not the most successful. The Germans disfigured him in the 80s and now Mudyug works more like an icebreaker, not an icebreaker, and not in Arkhangelsk, but in St. Petersburg. In Arkhangelsk, instead of Mudyug, Dixon works, the same type of Mudyug, is also made in Finland ...
    mik193 (Mikhail), dear, in the “Analytics” section for 09.01.20/XNUMX/XNUMX, in the comments of the material “What else has not been privatized in Russia: ...” I cited the figures for the plans for the privatization of SEVMASH and Zvyozdochka. Apparently, there are few dollar billionaires in their native country, because there are people to buy blocks of shares ...
  12. lopuhan2006 13 January 2020 23: 54 New
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    As you call a yacht, so it will sail. It was necessary to come up with a name for the Black Sea face. I propose for the following 22600: M.S. Gorbachev, B. Nemtsov, B. Yeltsin, well, and Kiriyenko with Rogozin .....