The new Russian diesel-electric icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin finally made its maiden voyage to the Arctic to undergo ice trials, 18 months after commissioning.
The ship is the world’s longest non-nuclear icebreaker, but its construction has been marred by delays, cost overruns and fire damage. The on-ice trials were originally scheduled to take place in 2020.
The ship left Murmansk for the ice testing program, which is designed to take 10 to 15 days, depending on the actual condition of the ice fields and the remoteness of the testing areas.
“In accordance with the navigation program, the Viktor Chernomyrdin The icebreaker has completed its escorts in the Gulf of Finland and arrived in Murmansk, from where it is heading to the Arctic for scheduled ice trials,” said Rosmorport, the company responsible for the development of seaports. and Russian maritime infrastructure.
Despite being Russia’s strongest conventional icebreaker, the vessel had never been to the Arctic, its mission being limited to breaking ice in the Gulf of Finland.
The icebreaker is designed for escort and towing, and it is also capable of transporting and supplying scientific expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, carrying up to 90 special personnel in addition to its 38 crew members. ‘crew. the Chernomyrdin can also serve as a fire fighting vessel.
The vessel boasts an ice class of the Russian Maritime Register Icebreaker8 and is capable of reaching speeds of up to 18 knots in clear waters. It is capable of breaking two meters of ice at a continuous speed of two knots. It can perform operations in ice up to three meters.
from Chernomyrdin construction began in 2012, but it encountered many obstacles and challenges, including Western sanctions, currency devaluation, and design errors that resulted in significant cost overruns. In November 2018, a fire broke out on board the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg. While the construction of the icebreaker was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015, it was only delivered in 2020.