2021 July 19 13:17

Russian Gov’t has allocated more than RUB 1 billion to complete the North Pole Arctic research vessel

The funds will help complete the construction of the floating platform in 2021 and conduct shipbuilder’s and dock side trials in 2022

Photo credit: USC

Over RUB 1 billion rubles will be allocated to Roshydromet to finance the completion of “the North Pole” (Severny Polyus), an ice-resistant self-propelled platform (LSP). The order was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the government’s press office said.

The North Pole Arctic research vessel of Project 00903 was ordered by Russia’s Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring under the state programme on social and economic development of the Arctic zone.

The new non-freezing self-propelled platform will be able to operate both on ice and in water. This will allow Russian polar explorers to resume long-term drifting expeditions which were interrupted due to climate changes in the early 2000s, which led to a decrease in ice thickness in the Arctic.

The 83-m North Pole will allow accommodating more people than in traditional drifting stations and more equipment for scientific research. The results of such studies are important for understanding global processes of climate change, as well as for preparing and implementing plans for the development of the Arctic and ensuring the operation of the Northern Sea Route (NSR).

The issue was discussed at a meeting with the Deputy Prime Ministers on July 19.

The North Pole (Severny Polyus) was launched at "Admiralty Shipyards" (part of the USC) on December 18, 2020.

The non-freezing platform North Pole will resume the traditional operation of drifting stations in the Arctic region. Previously, icebergs were used for polar expeditions and scientists have to deploy inhabited stations right on the ice floes. For the first time, such a landing followed by a polar station was carried out by Soviet researchers in 1937. The expedition was called the "North Pole". The same name was given to the new Arctic research vessel being built at the shipyard.

Specifications: LOA: 83.1 m; breadth: 22.5 m; draft: 8.6 m; displacement: over 10,000 t; power propulsion unit: 4,200 kW; speed: at least 10 knots; hull strength - Arc8; fuel endurance: about 2 years; service life: at least 25 years; crew - 14; scientific personnel - 34. Class notation: KM(*) Arc5[1] AUT1-C HELIDECK-F Special purpose ship by Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

Earlier, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Alexander Kozlov reported during the International Arctic Forum "Days of the Arctic and Antarctic in Moscow", the Ministry of Natural Resources plans that the ice-resistant self-propelled platform "North Pole" will commence operation in 2024.