Moscow: Russia’s nuclear-powered Arktika icebreaker, the largest and most powerful ever constructed, will enter use in December, the Russian government said in a statement on Wednesday.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed a decree allowing the Arktika to enter operation, the government said.
“This decision will allow the use of the icebreaker to begin in the waters of the Northern Sea Route from December 2020,” the government statement read.
According to the government, a new engine with increased capacity will be fitted to the Arktika’s starboard side in 2021.
The Arktika has successfully arrived in the northern port city of Murmansk after passing the final phase of its at-sea trials. Later on Wednesday, a ceremony to mark the handover of the vessel from the United Shipbuilding Corporation to Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear agency, will take place.
The Arktika, one of Russia’s class of Project 22220 fleet of icebreakers, will be able to escort caravans of ships in Arctic conditions, breaking up to 10 feet of ice. The icebreakers are designed to accompany vessels carrying hydrocarbons from the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas and the Kara Sea shelf to Asian-Pacific markets.