On December 24, 2021, the Baltic Shipyard officially handed over the first versatile nuclear icebreaker Sibir (Project 22220) to the customer. Mustafa Kashka, CEO, Atomflot, and Alexey Kadilov, CEO, Baltic Shipyard, signed the handover certificate. 

“The commissioning of the first-in-series versatile nuclear icebreaker Sibir will strengthen Atomflot’s footprint in the Arctic”, noted Mustafa Kashka, CEO, Atomflot. “Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers have accumulated the long experience of shipbuilders and mariners. We believe that the efficient operation of such icebreakers is a key factor to enable the sustainable development of the Northern Sea Route navigation”.

Arctica, the flagship versatile nuclear icebreaker, is operating in the Northern Sea Route right now. The nuclear icebreaker is escorting a convoy towards the Port of Pevek. The flagship icebreaker operation has shown that the vessel is fully compliant with the customer specifications. The RITM 200 reactor plant with an integrated steam generator has also proved to be highly efficient. The Arctica nuclear icebreaker successfully navigated the shallow waters en route to the Arctica Gate oil terminal in May 2021. She proved her suitability for both open sea and polar river estuary operations. 

“I would like to say thank you to the Atomflot team who collaborated with us during the icebreaker construction and sea trials. The vessel is going away, but the Baltic Shipyard is following her with aftersales support and spare parts. I hope you would appreciate the product of our joint efforts”, said Alexey Kadilov, CEO, Baltic Shipyard.

Ural, Yakutia, and Chukotka nuclear icebreakers are now being built in St. Petersburg. The Project 22220 icebreakers will help unleash the traffic potential of the Northern Sea Route. Sibir, the first in series, a versatile nuclear icebreaker, will leave St. Petersburg for her homeport Murmansk as the paperwork and preparations for winter and spring maritime operations are completed.

For reference:

The keel laying of the first versatile nuclear icebreaker Sibir was on May 26, 2015. She was launched on September 22, 2017.

Sibir (Project 22220) nuclear icebreaker specifications:

length:173.3 m (CWL: 160 m)

beam: 34 m (CWL: 33 m) hull height: 15.2 m

power (BHP): 60 MW

speed: 22 knots (in clear water)

draught: 10.5 m / 9.03 m

max icebreaking capability: 2.9 m

displacement: 33,540 tons

rated service life: 40 years

crew: 54.


The first-in-series Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker is named after the now decommissioned Sibir nuclear icebreaker. In 1978, the previous Sibir icebreaker enabled a year-round Murmansk–Dudinka navigation for the first time. She escorted Pavel Ponomarev and Navarin diesel-electric vessels together with the Captain Sorokin icebreaker. In 1987, the Sibir nuclear icebreaker delivered and evacuated the Arctic drifting ice stations (North Pole 27, North Pole 29 expeditions), and visited the North Pole in May. Back then, no one surface ship had ever reached the North Pole at that time of the year due to extremely difficult ice conditions. The Sibir icebreaker was decommissioned in 1992.