According to the Krylov center, hydrodynamic tests drew out the optimal form of propulsion module that surpasses Western analogs by its weight and size characteristics.
Among other advantages of electric-propulsion azimuth thrusters, the experts stated quietness, high maneuverability, good usability and arrangement of the motor. Power of the thruster is 6.5 MW, allowing to be mounted on the ships displacing 4,000 – 7,000 tons. To compare, Project 23120 Elbrus logistics ship displaces 9,000 tons.
"Currently, the system is at engineering design stage. The works are jointly held by a number of companies, including the Vint Scientific & Production Enterprise (a member of the Zvezdochka Shipbuilding Center – editorial remark) under technical specifications of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. We’re considering its use on the Russian Navy’s ice-class ships", said the Krylov center’s representatives.
Vasily Dandykin, Capt 1 Rank (retired) and an Arctic-experienced military expert, explained that the use of azimuth thrusters on Arctic-class ships improves their ice maneuverability, and electric motor makes controllability easier.The Krylov center designs azimuth thrusters within the R&D project named "Development and launching into production of the azimuth thruster with pod-mounted electric motor" (codename EDRK). The project is funded by the Ministry of Industry and Trade amounting to 750 mln rubles. According to the contractual terms, by the end of 2018 the contractor is supposed to produce a prototype of the azimuth thruster and its testbed, as well as present an industrial cooperation plan for batch production of the propulsion plants.