Russia to initiate production of military icebreakers

http://www.bairdmaritime.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16405:russia-to-initiate-production-of-military-icebreakers&catid=73&Itemid=65

A shipyard in St. Petersburg will begin production on the first in a series of military icebreakers in March, under the Russian Navy’s special project 21180. According to representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defence, the technical and detailed designs of the new vessels have been undertaken by Admiralty Shipyards.
It is expected that the new types of icebreakers will be on duty in the Arctic and the Far East, which is crucial for the Russian fleet, which in the coming year plans to launch large-scale exploration of its Arctic territory.

According to the developers, the icebreaker will have a modern energy rigging out, steerable propeller, and variable frequency speed drive. Displacement will be 6,000 tonnes, and the vessels will measure in at 84 metres in length, 20 metres in beam and 10 metres in depth. The vessels will have a range of 60 days and 10,500 nautical miles.

It is still unclear what weaponry the new ship will have. The designs of all Russian icebreakers constructed in the times of the Soviet Union were very flexible, allowing for the rapid installation and re-installation of various different fit outs, in case of large-scale war. However, the new types of icebreakers will be permanently equipped with some weaponry.

According to Russian analysts, icebreakers will probably be equipped with a number of self-defence armaments, in particular small-calibre anti-aircraft artillery and heavy machine guns, which do not take up much space. They may be also installed with missile launchers.

From another article, one can find an artist’s conception of the vessel:

I wonder where they are going to buy the propulsion system now that the sanctions are in place. There are only three manufacturers in the world capable of providing icebreaker-class azimuth thrusters, and all of those are located in Finland and thus likely subject to export restrictions when the vessel is intended for the Russian Navy. The same applies to diesel engines - Wärtsilä, MaK, Caterpillar etc. are all Western manufacturers.

In any case, those icebreakers seem to be in the same size and performance class as the icebreaking rescue vessels currently under construction in Germany. In terms of icebreaking capability, those are not that far from the new Canadian Arctic offshore patrol vessels.

http://en.portnews.ru/news/193598/

In any case, I wouldn’t put much hope on Russia’s ability to build modern icebreakers of ingenious design at domestic yards:

http://www.adn.com/article/20141126/russian-yard-delays-delivery-icebreaker

mark my words that we are headed right to a renewed cold war with Russia and Czar Admiral Putin…

one of the new battlegrounds will be the high arctic which unless we build new icebreakers ourselves, Russia will end up owning outright

[QUOTE=Tups;153919]http://www.bairdmaritime.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16405:russia-to-initiate-production-of-military-icebreakers&catid=73&Itemid=65

From another article, one can find an artist’s conception of the vessel:

I wonder where they are going to buy the propulsion system now that the sanctions are in place. There are only three manufacturers in the world capable of providing icebreaker-class azimuth thrusters, and all of those are located in Finland and thus likely subject to export restrictions when the vessel is intended for the Russian Navy. The same applies to diesel engines - Wärtsilä, MaK, Caterpillar etc. are all Western manufacturers.

In any case, those icebreakers seem to be in the same size and performance class as the icebreaking rescue vessels currently under construction in Germany. In terms of icebreaking capability, those are not that far from the new Canadian Arctic offshore patrol vessels.

http://en.portnews.ru/news/193598/

In any case, I wouldn’t put much hope on Russia’s ability to build modern icebreakers of ingenious design at domestic yards:

http://www.adn.com/article/20141126/russian-yard-delays-delivery-icebreaker[/QUOTE]

Russia buys a lot of MTU engines and may already have some 4000 series (which they use for locomotives) on hand that can be converted to vessel use.

As the price of oil stays relatively low, as the war in Ukraine expands, and as sanctions increase, Russia is going to be less and less able to even feed its people, much less build new fleets of anything.

catherder, using a high-speed engine in an icebreaker would be a rather novel approach - as far as I know, there is just one such vessel in the world (Botnica has twelve 12-cylinder Caterpillars). However, the higher BSFC could be an actual problem because icebreakers tend to be rather weight-critical and the Russians already f’d up one of their icebreaking rescue ships. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they built it on a dry dock and not on a slip…

On another website, they said that the icebreaker will feature two 3.5 MW propulsion units. That’s exactly the same as the MPSV06’s under construction in Germany. They have the new baby Azipods which are, of course, off-limits to Russian naval vessels…

Heh, our subs are better.

[QUOTE=Tups;153935]catherder, using a high-speed engine in an icebreaker would be a rather novel approach - as far as I know, there is just one such vessel in the world (Botnica has twelve 12-cylinder Caterpillars). However, the higher BSFC could be an actual problem because icebreakers tend to be rather weight-critical and the Russians already f’d up one of their icebreaking rescue ships. Let’s just say it’s a good thing they built it on a dry dock and not on a slip…

On another website, they said that the icebreaker will feature two 3.5 MW propulsion units. That’s exactly the same as the MPSV06’s under construction in Germany. They have the new baby Azipods which are, of course, off-limits to Russian naval vessels…

[/QUOTE]

The new research vessel Sikuliaq uses MTU high-speeds which power AC drive motors (this is a diesel-electric setup) mated to Wartsila ice drives. Mind you. she’s not a true icebreaker, rather ice-capable and can break new ice of approx. 1 meter thick, but the Russians could accomplish what they need with a similar arrangement.

[QUOTE=catherder;153957]The new research vessel Sikuliaq uses MTU high-speeds which power AC drive motors (this is a diesel-electric setup) mated to Wartsila ice drives. Mind you. she’s not a true icebreaker, rather ice-capable and can break new ice of approx. 1 meter thick, but the Russians could accomplish what they need with a similar arrangement.[/QUOTE]

Oh yeah, I forgot Sikuliaq. I’m not sure if Wärtsilä is offering Icepods anymore - you can’t find them from their website.

The icebreaking capability of those “military icebreakers” is said to be around 80 cm, so I wouldn’t say they are that far off from Sikuliaq performance-wise.

[QUOTE=Tups;153973]Oh yeah, I forgot Sikuliaq. I’m not sure if Wärtsilä is offering Icepods anymore - you can’t find them from their website.

The icebreaking capability of those “military icebreakers” is said to be around 80 cm, so I wouldn’t say they are that far off from Sikuliaq performance-wise.[/QUOTE]

80 cm … that means they won’t be spending much time on (certain parts) of the NSR!

[QUOTE=Drill Bill;154038]80 cm … that means they won’t be spending much time on (certain parts) of the NSR![/QUOTE]

Depends on the time of the year. When I was there in November 2012, the ice was maybe ten inches thick. Still, it’s enough to stop most open water ships.

I don’t think the Russian Navy would risk bringing naval ships to the NSR during the harshest months when you need higher icebreaking capability. Without ice strengthening (as is the case with most naval surface vessels), there is a risk of ice damage when when following an icebreaker.

http://en.portnews.ru/news/198622/

ILYA MUROMETS is the first icebreaker in Russia fitted with Azipod propulsion units housed in a submerged pod outside the ship hull and can rotate rotate 360 degrees about the vertical axis, thereby providing greater hydrodynamic and mechanical efficiency, enabling the ship to sail freely both forward, backward and sideways.

I don’t think ABB is selling their propulsion systems to Russia under current sanctions as propulsion units are dual-use equipment and the end-user is the Russian Navy. The propulsion units are probably domestically produced Z-drive thrusters.

edit: Or maybe not. Looks like Krylov is working on podded units as well.