Arctic Patrol Belongs to Russia!

A significant event took place in St. Petersburg. The first ice-class patrol ship of Project 23550 Ivan Papanin for the Northern Fleet was launched at the Admiralty Shipyard.

All week the sky over St. Petersburg was overcast, but on this day, as if by magic, it became clear. It is known that already in the evening the weather will turn again, and for a long time. By the way, the godmother of the ship is Ivan Papanin’s niece, such an interesting continuity of generations. Although the ribbon she cut did not allow the bottle to break against the side of the ship (this system sometimes fails, although the day before the lowering 5 rehearsal bottles smashed without problems)…

…shipbuilders were ready for such a possibility and smashed their bottle from the other side, and very effectively too, it must be said. So the tradition was not canonical, but respected. That rare case when workers were not worried about it.

Ivan Papanin will become the first Russian fighting ice breaker capable of carrying out not only patrol in ices (ice up to 1.7m thick), to work as a rescue or research ship, but also to conduct combat. The military speaks succinctly and simply – to ensure Russia’s economic activity in the Arctic. And it’s not alone, a series is being built.

The ship’s length is about 114m, width is 20m, draught is 6m, displacement is about 8,500 tons. The crew will consist of 60 people, an additional 47 people can be accommodated. The autonomy of navigation is about 60 days, the area of navigation is unlimited. The speed is about 18 knots, and the range of navigation in economic mode will be 6000 miles.

The most interesting thing is the composition of the weapons.

Tactical attack weapons – “Kalibr” (missiles of type 3М54, 3М14, etc.), 1×100mm universal gun А-190 is capable of defeating not only sea, but also aerial targets, and there is also a 1 Ka-27 helicopter in the hangar.

Information about the anti-submarine component remains unknown; it certainly exists, but it’s not advertised. By the way, there is an anti-submarine version of “Kalibr”. The idea of a ship with an icebreaker hull and weapons is not new, but ships with such a nomenclature of weapons have not yet been built.

Norway has a similar purpose patrol ship of the “Svalbard” ice-class with a displacement of 6,300 tons, Canada a year ago launched a similar ice-class ship – HMCS Harry DeWolf, with a displacement of 6,150 tons, it is the first in a series of five units. Competitors have medium caliber guns and 1 helicopter. In case of a hypothetical fight – our ice breaker will swallow them and send them to the bottom even without the use of missiles.

Ivan Dmitry Papanin (November 26th 1894 – January 30th 1986) is a Soviet Arctic explorer, Doctor of Geographical Sciences (1938), Rear Admiral (1943), and two-time Hero of the Soviet Union (1937, 1940).

He was the chief of the polar station of Tikhaya Bay (Land of Franz Joseph), and in 1934 – 1935 – the station at Cape Chelyuskin. From 1937 to 1938 he headed the world’s first drifting North Pole station. From 1939 to 1946 he worked as the head of Glavsevmorput. Since 1956 he was the Director of the Institute of Internal Waters Biology at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.


Vitaly Sagaidark

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