ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — The hull of Russia's first serial universal nuclear-powered icebreaker Sibir, Project 22220 (LK-60Ya class) has been floated out at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg, a Sputnik correspondent reported Friday.
United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) chief Alexei Rakhmanov told Sputnik on Friday that mooring tests of Russia's leading Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker Arktika will begin at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg in early 2018.
"Early next year," he said in response to a relevant question.
Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers will become the world's largest and most powerful. They are needed to ensure Russian leadership in the Arctic.
Last year, St. Petersburg's Baltic Shipyard launched the Arktika (the 'Arctic'), the lead ship of a new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers. When commissioned, the vessel will become the world's largest and most powerful icebreaking vessel, surpassing another Russian ship, the 50 Let Pobedy. The Arktika is expected to be delivered in 2019.
In recent years, Russia has considerably expanded efforts to ensure sovereignty and security in the Arctic, building up new military infrastructure, and signing off on the creation of new vessels, bases, and technologies for use in the inhospitable region.
Among the advantages that Russia has long enjoyed in the Arctic region is its fleet of nuclear and diesel-powered icebreakers, already the largest in the world, and continuing to expand.