NS Ural icebreaker

NS Ural icebreaker current position

NS Ural icebreaker current location is at North Russia (coordinates 74.66466 N / 72.51088 E) cruising at speed of 11.6 kn (21 km/h | 13 mph) en route to ARKTIKA. The AIS position was reported 46 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of NS Ural icebreaker

Year of build2022  /  Age: 2
Flag state Russia
BuilderBaltiysky Zavod/Baltic Shipyard (St Petersburg, Russia)
ClassRussian nuclear icebreaker (LK-60YA class, Project 22220)
Ferry route / homeportsSankt-Petersburg
Building costRUB 50 billion (USD 720M / EUR 640M)
Engines (power)RITM-200 nuclear reactors (350 MW / 469358 hp)
Propulsion power110 MW / 147512 hp
Speed22 kn / 41 km/h / 25 mph
Length (LOA)173 m / 568 ft
Beam (width)34 m / 112 ft
Gross Tonnage33540 gt
Passengers64 - 128
Decks with cabins5
Sister-shipsNS Arktika (2020), NS Sibir (2021), NS Yakutia (2024), NS Chukotka (2026), NS Leningrad (2028), NS Stalingrad (2030)
Christened byElvira Nabiullina
OwnerRussian Federation (via FSUE Atomflot)
OperatorAtomflot (Rosmorport)

NS Ural icebreaker Review

Review of NS Ural icebreaker

NS Ural ("атомный ледокол Урал") is a new design (and the world's largest) Russian nuclear icebreaker. "NS" stands for "nuclear ship". The vessel is state-owned (by the Russian Federation via FSUE Atomflot) and operated by Rosatom. The Atomflot company provides all Russian nuclear icebreakers with maintenance and technological services. The company also serves the country's special vessel fleet.

The vessel (IMO number 9658642) is Russia-flagged (MMSI 273618600) and registered in Murmansk.

Besides NS Ural, the list of other active Russian nuclear icebreaker ships includes Rossiya (2027/Project Leader), Sibir (2021/sistership), Arktika (2020/sistership), Yakutia (2024/sistership), Chukotka (2026/sistership), Leningrad (2028/sistership), Stalingrad (2030/sistership), Taymyr (1989), Vaygach (1990), Yamal (1992), 50 Let Pobedy (2007).

NS Ural icebreaker (nuclear ship)

Among the newest and largest Russian icebreakers, Ural is the 3rd of the "Project 22220" ships (aka LK-60Ya). This is a special class of 7x nuclear-powered icebreakers designed and constructed in Russia.

Being the third in this series, NS Ural's construction/assembly officially started with the keel-laying ceremony on July 25, 2016, and originally planned to enter service in 2020. The vessel (hull/yard number 05708) was launched/floated out from drydock on May 25, 2019, and delivered/commissioned on November 22, 2022.

These sisterships are currently the world's ever-biggest and most powerful icebreakers, surpassing the "nuclear cruise ship" 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of Victory) by length (14 m longer) and width (4 m wider).

Negotiations between the Russian companies Atomflot and USC (United Shipbuilding Corporation) have been lengthy. In early 2013, the federal government allocated RUB (rubles) 86,1 billion (or ~USD 1,3 billion) for the project. Rosatom (also a state-owned corporation) insisted that the two ice-breaking vessels should have a total building cost of RUB 77,5 billion (~USD 1,2 billion), but the offer was declined by the shipbuilder. A second tender with the adjusted shipbuilding price of RUB 84,4 billion was announced in Dec 2013.

Due to the vessel's dual-draft (8,7 m / 10,5 m), Ural icebreaker's itinerary program is based on Northern Sea Route shipping assistance and includes Arctic Russia sea navigation as well as polar river services. The ship's operational regions in the Arctic Ocean include Barents Sea, Kara Seas, Pechora River, Yenisei River estuary, Ob River (Gulf of Ob).

Russia's nuclear fleet of ice-breaking vessels is used exclusively in the Arctic Ocean for escorting merchant ships and assisting research stations floating in the ice-covered waters north of Siberia. These ships are also used for scientific and Arctic cruise expeditions. The Russian nuclear ice-breakers must sail in ice-cold waters to effectively cool their reactors.

NS Ural vessel details

Project 22220 class Russian nuclear ships have minimal draught 8,6 m (28 ft) and max draught 10,5 m (34 ft). The dual-draft design makes these vessels capable of operating in both the Arctic Ocean and in ice-covered rivers.

new Arktika-class Russian icebreaker ship design (Project 22220)

Project 22220 icebreakers are equipped with two RITM-200 nuclear reactors with a total of 350 MW thermal capacity. The propulsion power output is 1100 MW. The previous design was for 60 MW output (the reason why this class is alternatively known as "LK-60"). RITM-200 model is a pressurized water reactor developed by OKBM Afrikantov (Russian mechanical engineering company) and designed to produce power output 55 MWe (megawatt electrical). RITM-200 uses up to 20% enriched uranium-235. The reactor is refueled every 7 years and has planned lifespan 40 years. RITM-200 is also used to power Russia's newest and most powerful aircraft carriers (Project 23000E).

Ural ship's maximum ice-breaking capability is 2,8 m (9 ft) at cruising speed between 1,5-2 knots (2,8 kph / 1,7 mph).

In May 2015 was reported that Russia made a decision on the development of the design for its newest nuclear-powered icebreakers to be able to move across Arctic ice of thickness up to 4.5 m / 15 ft. The icebreaker features propulsion power of 110 MW. Russia's new icebreakers are nearly twice as powerful as Project 22220 nuclear ships.

new Arktika-class Russian icebreaker ship design (Project 22220)

The steel for the Ural ship (thick plate "Mill 5000") was supplied by the MMK company (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works). The company is one of the world's largest producers and suppliers with steel over 50% of Russia's shipbuilding. Steel plate "Mill 5000" is used for manufacturing Russia's naval fleet, as well as for building tankers and ice-class vessels. The steel is certified internationally, including by Lloyd's Register and Bureau Veritas.

NS Ural vessel has 1 dining room, Sauna, Library, Auditorium, Passenger Lounge, Volleyball Court, Gymnasium, 1 swimming pool (indoor, heated), Infirmary, 1 elevator, 1 helipad (Helideck) with a Mi-2 transport helicopter.

  • DWT Deadweight tonnage: 9000 tons
  • Displacement tonnage: 33540 tons
  • Clear path width: 50 m (164 ft)
  • Draught: 8,6 m (28 ft min), 10,5 m (35 ft max)
  • Height: 52 m (171 ft)
  • Icebreaking capacity: 2,8 m (9 ft)
  • Ice-class 9 (highest)
  • Lifespan: 40 years (designated service life)
  • Range: unlimited
  • Endurance: 6 months (provisions), 7 years (Uranium fuel)
  • Powerplant: 2x RITM-200 nuclear reactors (175 MW each/total power output 350 MW)
  • Propulsion: 3 shafts (combined power output 110 MW)

Russia's Project 22220 ships have an endurance of 6 months (provisions) and 7 years (nuclear reactor fuel).

Note: In the case of poor AIS coverage, tracking the vessel's current location is impossible.

You can see CruiseMapper's list of all icebreakers and ice-breaking research ships in the "itinerary" section of our Icebreakers hub. All states and their fleets are listed there.

Photos of NS Ural icebreaker

Add Photo

NS Ural icebreaker Wiki

The vessel's construction officially started with the keel-laying ceremony on July 25, 2016, held at Baltic Shipyard in Sankt Petersburg Russia. The ship was launched (floated out from drydock) on May 25, 2019, and scheduled for inauguration in 2021-Q1. The launch ceremony's Godmother was Elvira Sakhipzadovna Nabiullina (1963-born Russian economist). In 2013 she was appointed President of the Central Bank of Russia. In 2014, Forbes (renowned US business magazine) ranked her as the world's 72nd most powerful woman.


In August 2019 was signed the shipbuilding contract for two more "Project 22220" units (Yakutia and Chukotka/ to 5x icebreakers total). Based on the contract, the shipbuilding cost per unit is RUB 50 billion (~USD 720 million / ~EUR 640 million).

On May 26, 2020, the shipbuilder announced that the ship's construction is at around 50%.

Due to technical issues (problems with the steam turbines' delivery), the 3d "Project 22220" icebreaker Ural was completed and commissioned on November 22, 2022.

The vessel is named after the Ural Mountains (Уральские горы). The Urals mountain range runs (north to south) from the Arctic Ocean to Ural River and Kazakhstan. It forms part of the conventional border between Europe and Asia. Further to the north, the Urals continue (via Vaygach Island and Novaya Zemlya Archipelago) into the Arctic Ocean.

The Ural ship has two nuclear reactors (RITM-200 steam generator/power plant), each with thermal capacity 175 MW (350 MV combined power output).

The vessel's physical construction started with the keel-laying ceremony held on July 25, 2016. The ship was launched/floated out from drydock on May 27, 2019. The delivery FSUE Atomflot was initially scheduled for 2020, but due to the COVID crisis was postponed until November 2022. Sea trials were successfully conducted in the period October 14-31, 2022.

On September 5, 2021, Rosatom's Deputy Director (Maxim Kulinko) stated that the Northern Sea Route's year-round service requires two additional Project 22220 ships (6th and 7th). In April 2022 was announced that the Russian Federation plans to allocate from the federal budget RUB 118 billion (~USD 1,7B / EUR 1,6B) for the two icebreakers (cost per unit RUB 59B / USD 851M / EUR 807M), with scheduled deliveries in 2028 (Leningrad) and 2030 (Stalingrad).

As Project 22220 vessels can navigate both deep (sea) and shallow waters (river estuaries), ROSATOM received two types of ice-breaking ships for the price of one, which means saving hundreds of millions of USD.

NS Ural and its sisterships are of utmost importance for Russia's strategy to open the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for commercial and military operations the whole year round. By 2030, the NSR will serve vessels carrying 150+ million tonnes of shipments. The Russian Government gave ROSATOM the lead in the route's 6-year infrastructure development project, with total funding RUB 734,9 billion (USD 11,37 billion / EUR 10,17). Of those, RUB 274 billion were provided by the Government, while the remaining RUB 460+ billion were provided by investors, the largest among which are ROSATOM, ROSNEFT and NOVATEK.

NS Ural icebreaker (nuclear ship)

ROSATOM (2007-founded) is a state-owned nuclear energy corporation headquartered in Moscow. It comprises over 360 companies and organizations, specializing in scientific research and nuclear weapons, as well as the world's only fleet of nuclear icebreakers. In 2017, ROSATOM produced 202,868 billion kWh of electricity annually or 18,9% of Russia's total electricity. Corporation's construction projects include 33 nuclear powerplant units installed and maintained in 12 countries. It also manufactures related equipment, produces isotopes for nuclear medicine, conducts research and studies, produces supercomputers and software, develops renewable energy technologies (including wind turbines). ROSATOM covers 17,7% of the world's nuclear fuel market and ~35% market share of the global Uranium enrichment services.

ROSNEFT (1993-founded) is a state-controlled gas and oil corporation headquartered in Moscow. The company specializes in research, extraction, production, refinement and transportation of natural gas and petroleum. ROSNEFT is ranked Russia's 3rd largest company and the country's 2nd-largest state-controlled (after Gazprom) and the world's 24th largest oil company in terms of revenue (FY2017 - USD 103 billion / EUR 92,09 billion).

NOVATEK (1994-founded) is Russia's 2nd-largest natural gas producer and the world's 7th-largest stock-listed company by annual natural gas production volume. The company is listed and traded on London (LSE) and Moscow (MCX) stock exchanges. Major shareholders are Leonid Michelson (CEO, ~28%), Volga Group (23%), Total SA (French multinational, ~16%) and Gazprom (9,4%).