What is interesting is that the year was very difficult, we can say — uniquely difficult. But I can’t remember so many important technological breakthroughs in a long time. So I present to your attention my most likely far from complete list of 10 projects.
1. Start in commercial operation of the floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov“
The long, very long construction of this unique facility finally ended with the commissioning of the station in the port of Pevek in Chukotka. There is nothing like it in the world. On May 22nd, the floating nuclear power plant “Akademik Lomonosov” was put into commercial operation, and on June 30th, heat from it was first supplied to the city heating network of Pevek.
2. “NICA” collider in Dubna
This is a world-wide project, the entire scientific world is waiting for its completion, and the queue for research is already scheduled. Such mega-science projects can be implemented by a few countries in the world. “NICA” (Nuclotron based Ion Collider facility) is an accelerator complex that is being created on the basis of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Dubna, Russia) to study the properties of dense baryonic matter. And although the full launch of the collider is still a couple of years away, but in 2020 an important part of it was launched – the superconducting intermediate synchrotron booster: it will accelerate gold ions to energies of 578 megaelectronvolts per nucleon. After starting the booster, it only remains to start the large ring of the collider.
3. Afromax class tanker “Vladimir Monomakh“
Built at the “Zvezda” super shipyard, the tanker was launched, tested and handed over to the customer. This is a symbol of the fact that our first super shipyard, although still under construction, has already been launched and released its first products. Yes, I know that this first tanker was mostly built in South Korea, and there is nothing wrong with that — this country is a world leader in shipbuilding, and we learn from them. But the localisation of each subsequent vessel will grow, and the next tanker will be built entirely at a domestic shipyard.
4. Nuclear icebreaker “Arktika“
But what we do not need to learn about is the construction of nuclear icebreakers. And this year, for the first time in many years, a new nuclear-powered icebreaker appeared in Russia, and it was designed and built in Russia completely from scratch. Let me remind you that until now, all the nuclear icebreakers available to Russia, although some of them were completed in Russia, they were all laid down in the USSR. It is important that they are not going to stop at one “Arktika”, – four more icebreakers of this class are already under construction, and the shipyard “Zvezda” laid down the twice as powerful icebreaker class “Lider”.
At the end of the year, the most important event in the domestic aircraft industry took place — the MS-21 with fully Russian PD-14 engines rose into the air. There was only one country in the world that was able to build mainline passenger liners and engines for them — the US. Now there are two such countries again.
6. Launch of the Angara-A5 heavy rocket
After a 6-year break, the rocket, whose production was moved from Moscow to Omsk, again went into space. This is an important event precisely because as a result of this launch, the ability of the Omsk enterprise to produce a rocket was confirmed, which means that the door to serial production of the “Angara” was opened. By the way, this production has already begun, now 6 “Angara” missiles are in different stages of readiness.
On December 16th 2020, a new Il-114-300 regional turboprop passenger aircraft made its first flight at the Zhukovsky airfield. The developer of the aircraft is the parent company of the Transport Aviation Division of the United Aircraft Corporation, the Ilyushin Aviation Complex. This is a long-awaited aircraft, in a very necessary niche for Russia-regional turboprop airliners. And today it is the most modern and economical liner in this class in the world.
8. The first commercial launch from the “Vostochny” cosmodrome
Although this is not the first launch from the new Russian cosmodrome, but this particular launch can be considered the first one that was routine, not a test. The “Soyuz-2.1b” launch vehicle launched 36 satellites into space in the interests of OneWeb. The launch was completely successful.
9. Ice-resistant self-propelled platform “North Pole“
Admiralty shipyards launched the ice-resistant self-propelled platform “North Pole” project 00903, which is being built by order of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet). This is a unique vessel, I don’t know if there is anything like it in the world. In fact, it is a replacement for drifting scientific stations. The strange shape of the platform’s body is just dictated by its purpose, and the platform itself is simply stuffed with the most modern scientific equipment.
10. And of course, one cannot fail to mention the Russian development of the first in the world vaccine against the new coronavirus – Sputnik-V. Russia has proved that it is among the most developed countries in the world and has the strongest science.
However, despite all the problems, this year there were many more achievements. For example, we can recall the simultanous launch of three wind farms in the Rostov region, which marked the beginning of serial construction of wind farms in Russia, or the full capacity of the ZapSibNeftekhim plant, which allowed Russia to become a net exporter of polyethylene importers.
And by the way, note that in my list there is not a single achievement related to the military-industrial complex, no “Avangard”, “Kinzhal” or “Tsirkon” — only civilian!
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