Russian Navy’s brand new icebreaker Ilya Muromets floats off (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg have floated out the new generation diesel-electric icebreaker Ilya Muromets (Project 21180), commissioned by Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Work on the ship, which is built to explore northern latitudes, started in April 2015 and is expected to finish in late 2017. It is the first icebreaker completed in Russia in 40-45 years for the Navy, according to news agencies.

© Igor Russak

The vessel is designed to have a cruising range of 12,000 nautical miles and an endurance run of two full months, being capable to advance through ice up to one meter thick. Its propulsion system also allows it to sail in any direction: forward, backward and to the side.

The ship’s length is 85 meters, its beam is 20 meters, draught is 7 meters with deadweight of 6,000 tons and cruise speed is 15 knots. The crew is 32 people.

The Ilya Muromets is a multitask vessel capable of breaking through ice fields to make a passage for other ships, and can tug ships as well as transport a certain amount of cargo, delivering supplies to remote and secluded military installations.

© Igor Russak

The Defense Ministry will not develop this class of ship, so the Muromets is expected to remain the only vessel in Project 21180. Still, other projects will make up a whole family of Arctic vessels, with works scheduled to launch in autumn.