According to the shipyard “Kronstadt Marine Plan”, the “Arktika”, the class leader of the new series 22220, came to Kronstadt for repairs on August 11. The replacement of the right propeller engine took a month. “This work could only be done in the dock and not in open water,” explained Gleb Chubinsky-Nadezhdin, a representative of the “Kronstadt Marine Plant”. The icebreaker was assigned the Veleshinsky dock, the largest in the shipyard. The engine itself weighs 300 tons and is correspondingly large in volume. A hole of appropriate size was cut in the hull of the icebreaker, the failed drive motor was removed and a new one installed.
During sea trials in the Baltic Sea on February 4, 2020, a short circuit caused severe damage to the winding of one of the three electric motors on board the icebreaker “Arktika”. Upon inspection, it was determined that the engine could not be repaired, but would need to be replaced. The test drive was then continued with only two working engines.
With reduced propulsion, the “Arktika” nevertheless went on its maiden voyage on September 22, 2020. Before arriving at home base Murmansk, the “Arktika” passed through the Franz Josef Archipelago to test its ice capability and reached the North Pole on October 3, 2020. On October 12, the “Arktika” arrived in her home port of Murmansk.
Extensive repair work
On July 9, 2021, the icebreaker “Arktika” returned to St. Petersburg from Murmansk for repairs. Some warranty and maintenance work was carried out on the “Baltic Shipyard”. Thus, a transformer, which also suddenly failed, was replaced. On August 11, the “Arktika” left St. Petersburg and headed for Kronstadt.
Replacing the 300-ton drive engine was a special kind of feat of strength. The hull of the ship had to be opened so that the defective engine could be removed and replaced by the new propulsion engine.
The work in Kronstadt lasted one month. On September 12, the icebreaker, accompanied by 5 tugs, left the Veleshinsky dock. Due to unfavourable weather conditions, the crossing from Kronstadt to St. Petersburg took about 9 hours. Around midnight the “Arktika” was moored at the berth of the “Baltic Shipyard”.
Four more icebreakers of this series are being built at the “Baltic Shipyard”. The “Sibir” is scheduled to enter service at the end of 2021. This will be followed by the icebreakers “Ural”, “Yakutia” and “Chukotka”.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal