Drive motor of icebreaker “Arktika” replaced | Polarjournal
The icebreaker “Arktika” arrived back in St. Petersburg on September 12 after repairs in Kronstadt. (Photo: Anton Haas, St. Petersburg)

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.

The icebreaker “Arktika” in the dry dock of the shipyard in Kronstadt. With a length of 173 meters and a width of 34 meters, a suitable dry dock had to be found first for the repair. The 3 four-blade propellers have a diameter of 6.2 meters. (Photo:

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.

For the exchange of the right drive motor the hull of the “Arktika” had to be opened. This was only possible in dry dock, as the drive is below the waterline. (Photo: Mediadeck)

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”.

In St. Petersburg, there are still more icebreakers of the 22220 series nearing completion. The “Sibir”, pictured at the rear, is due to enter service shortly, while the vessel “Ural” will join the icebreaker fleet at a later date. In the middle of the picture you can see the “Arktika” already in service. (Photo: Anton Hass, 27.09.2020)

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

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