World’s First Oblique Icebreaker Baltika Returns from Sea Trials

The innovative multi-purpose salvage ice class ship Baltika of 7 MW power capacity returned to the port of Helsinki on 30 March 2014, after the second stage of sea trials. The equipment adjustment, functional check of main systems and propulsion characteristics have confirmed the readiness of the ship. The ship customer is FGI Directorate of State Contracting Authority for Marine Transport Development Programmes, and the ship operator will be FBI Gosmorspassluzhba of Russia.

The launching ceremony of the Baltika took place on 12 December 2013. The ship was built by OAO Shipyard Yantar (hull block manufacture, painting) and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc. as subcontractor (hull forming, fitting-out, trials). The designer (design Р-70202) is Aker Arctic Technology (Helsinki, Finland). The ship is designed for a wide range of salvage operations both on clear water and in ice, oil spill response included.

“For Russian Maritime Register of Shipping it is a fair assumption to say that the ships built now are capable of solving tasks that were unthinkable and unfeasible as far as two decades back. In this sense, the design of the Baltika, an icebreaker with oblique hull, is virtually unique”, Sergey N. Sedov, Chief Executive Officer of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping noted. “Innovative ship construction to the RS class confirms the fact that, as a classification society, RS is striving to keep in step with time and to facilitate the realisation of global goals for enhancing maritime safety and marine environment protection, bearing in mind the state of the art in technological development”, he added.


Multi-purpose salvage ice class ship Baltika is one of the good examples of new technology application. The ship’s singularity consists in its ability to operate efficiently not only when running ahead and astern, but also when moving sideways, which is ensured by the specific asymmetrical hull shape and the characteristic arrangement of 7 MW azimuth thrusters. The diesel-electric propulsion unit is equipped with three azimuth propulsors, one installed forward and two aft (amidships and port). The innovative hull shape enables the Baltika to make by a single pass when moving sideways a navigable canal up to 50 m wide for large ships. By way of comparison, the overall beam of the diesel-electric icebreakers Moskva and Sankt-Peterburg is 28 m, and that of the 25 MW diesel-electric icebreaker of project 22600 being built by the Baltic Shipyard  is 29 m.

The Baltika is more difficult to operate than a conventional ship and requires special training. Since large shipping companies show interest in the project, a computer training model for the would-be navigation officers of such ships has already been developed on the premises of the Helsinki Maritime Institute.

Main particulars:

  • Length    76.4 m
  • Breadth overall   20.5 m
  • Draught  6.3 m
  • Propulsion power    7.5 МW
  • Speed   14 knots
  • Speed in flat ice 1.0 m thick   3.0 knots
  • Crew    24
  • Special personnel   12
  • Sea endurance    20 days (24 persons)

Reference & Image Credits: rs-class

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