Russia Launches Unusual Floating Science Station for the High Arctic!
Russia's Admiralty Shipyard has launched one of the most unusual ships to go down the ways in 2020.
The future Severnyy Polyus (North Pole), also known as Project 00903, is as much a floating installation as it is a self-propelled vessel. The bulbous ship is designed to the Russian Arc8 ice class standard, one step down from the top Arc9 rating, and it is intended for multi-year drifting deployments in very high latitudes.
Steel cutting for the one-of-a-kind project began in late 2018. Its hull is shaped to reduce ice pressure by deflecting it downwards, much like the Arctic drilling rig Kulluk, a bowl-shaped floating platform designed to ride up over encroaching ice. Unlike Kulluk, Project 00903 has its own propulsion and is intended to self-deploy through heavy ice, without an icebreaker escort.
The $100 million ship will be operated by the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring and the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. It will deploy for up to two years at a time as a floating research platform, resupplied with goods and personnel by helicopter and by icebreaker.
Source: Maritime Executive (Clcik for futher of the article)