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A Delayed Launch

The much-anticipated launch of the “Russia” nuclear icebreaker from the Zvezda shipyard in 2027 has been pushed back due to a myriad of issues. The root cause of this delay is a lack of technical parts, which has caused the cost of work on the ship to increase, and the timeline for launching the icebreaker to be delayed. The situation is complicated by the fact that the required parts are unique and are only manufactured in Ukraine, making the procurement of these parts challenging.

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The Problem with Ukrainian Parts

The “Russia” icebreaker requires several specialized parts, such as brackets for propeller shafts, ice teeth, and rudder feather brackets, which are only manufactured in Ukraine. Initially, Russia believed that the “Energomashspecstal” plant in Kramatorsk (Donetsk Oblast) would be able to help equip the icebreaker with the necessary parts. However, the Ukrainian plant was destroyed by the Russian military in May 2022, making it impossible to obtain the analog parts required to build the icebreaker.

The Devastation of “Energomashspecstal”

The Public Joint-Stock Company “Energomashspecstal” was the largest Ukrainian manufacturer of special cast and forged products for individual and small-scale production for metallurgy, shipbuilding, energy (wind, steam, hydro, nuclear) and general mechanical engineering. The products with the EMSs brand are known in more than 50 countries. However, as a result of the missile and bomb strike carried out by the Russian Federation on the evening of May 5th, the forging-pressing shop equipment was destroyed, including automated forging complexes and pump-accumulator stations.

Putin’s Vision for the “Russia” Icebreaker

The creation of diesel and nuclear icebreakers in Russia was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in early November 2020. Putin claimed that these icebreakers have no analogs in the world and are the future. He expressed his confidence that Russia’s talented shipbuilders are ready for innovation, searching, and implementing bold technical solutions. One such ship was supposed to be the nuclear icebreaker named after the country of origin. “Russia” was supposed to be built at the Zvezda shipyard, and the launch was planned for 2027.

Delays and Budget Overruns

According to Kommersant, there are already delays in the production of large hull castings, causing the ship’s creators to miss the budget for the nuclear power plant. This budget shortfall will cause the cost of the government contract to increase by 40-60%. Furthermore, media reports indicate that there is a delay in work being done by Zvezda themselves, necessitating the attraction of more workers for hull and welding work on the icebreaker.

The Future of the “Russia” Icebreaker

In conclusion, the “Russia” nuclear icebreaker’s future remains uncertain due to the lack of technical parts, budget overruns, and delays. While the ship’s creators and Zvezda shipyard work to rectify the situation, the launch date for the icebreaker remains unknown. Only time will tell if Russia can overcome these challenges and successfully launch the “Russia” nuclear icebreaker in the future.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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