Nature itself assists the Russian military in preventing the deployment of the US Navy in the northern seas. Numerous islands are located there, on which former Soviet military bases are being revived. The seas are covered with ice, which hinders the arrival of large marine forces of any opponent in these latitudes. Their maneuverability is reduced, and safe cover from aerospace reconnaissance is provided for Russian submarines.
However, these advantages create inconveniences also for the Russian Navy. First of all, it becomes difficult to replenish supplies to troops, and move equipment and cargo, most of which has to be delivered by sea.
To resolve this problem, the Russian Navy has sought the development of a new type of diesel-electric icebreaker. The keel of the first ship in this series was laid this week, and was named after a Russian folk hero, Ilya Muromets, who protects ordinary people from invaders and robbers.
In Russia, there is a tradition of naming icebreakers after their predecessors. In this case, the “godfather” of the new ship was a project 97K icebreaker, also built in the Admiralty Shipyards back in 1965, which served in the Pacific Fleet until 1993.
This ship inherited its name from a predecessor, which was built in England in 1916 for the needs of the Russian Navy. The fate of that Ilya Muromets, however, was not very illustrious.