Performance features of Ilya Muromets exceed those of the similar ships, said Vice Admiral Viktor Bursuk, Russian Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief, at the ceremony. "In the coming years, the ship's operation will prove the correctness of decisions made; take note, the shipyard not only manufactured the icebreaker, but also designed her", he added. According to him, the navy hasnít ordered such ships for 30 years now.
By the order of the Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief No. 1277 dated November 29, Ilya Muromets was attached to the 566th Supply Ships Division of the Northern Fleet, base port is Murmansk.
Military officials say Ilya Muromets would most likely remain the only Project 21180 icebreaker: Russian defense authorities are more interested in the Project 23550 ice-class patrol ships.
The Ilya Muromets-class icebreakers and the Project 23550 ice-class patrol ships have export potentials, as they meet certain interest in Argentine, Andrei Frolov, head editor of the Arms Exports magazine told Mil.Today.
"We have successfully supplied four Project B-92 Neftegaz-type ice-class tugs to the Argentine Navy. Also, Buenos Aires expressed interest in potential purchase of armed ice-class patrol ships", Frolov says.The expert stressed that these ships would be the object of interest primarily for Argentinean naval agencies. However, the bilateral consultations are still at the initial stage, he stated.
The Project 21180 diesel electric ship Ilya Muromets is designed for icebreaking assistance, basing and deployment of naval forces in ice conditions, and towage support.
The icebreaker was laid down on April 23, 2015, launched on June 10, 2016, and started state trials on October 5.
The ship displaces 6,000 tones, 84 meters long and 20 meters wide. Draft is 7 meters. Crew is 32 men. The shipís endurance is 60 days, cruising range is 12,000 nautical miles. Ilya Muromets will be capable to overcome up to 1.5-meter thick ice.