Baltic Shipyard, a subsidiary of United Shipbuilding, has won a $1.17bn order from Atomflot to build nuclear-powered icebreaker, the LK-60.

With a capacity of 60MW, the LK-60 is expected to be the largest and most powerful icebreaker vessel ever built.

It will have a length of 173m and width of 34m, which is about 14m longer and 4m wider than the largest icebreaker currently on the market.

"The LK-60 is expected to be the largest and most powerful icebreaker vessel ever built."

Construction of the icebreaker is scheduled to start at the end of 2012, with delivery of the vessel expected in 2017 to Atomflot’s base in Murmansk, Russia.

Keel-laying for the new vessel is scheduled for November 2013 with launch in November 2015, and sea trials for the icebreaker will commence in August 2017 with ice trials in the following November.

In June 2011, Atomflot floated an open tender for a 60MW icebreaker and Baltic Shipyard was the only company to submit a bid.

Displacement of the new icebreaker will be some 33,540t, with with a draught of between 8.5m and 10.5m.

Based around two RITM-200 pressurised water reactors to power a three-shaft propulsion arrangement, the vessel will be capable of accommodating 75 crew members and breaking through ice up to 2.8m thick at a speed of between 1.5knots and 2knots.

OKBM Afrikantov has developed the reactor design, incorporating some main components into the reactor vessel that would operate on fuel improved to less than 20% uranium-235 and require refuelling every seven years over a 40-year lifespan.

Upon delivery, the vessel will operate in the western Arctic and the shallow water areas of the Yenisei River and the Gulf of Ob.