Russia has world's biggest fleet of nuclear icebreakers - Putin

Russia will develop a high-tech shipbuilding sector and will work to design all types of high-tech vessels, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday as he attended a ceremony for naming a new multirole icebreaker after renowned Russian Arctic explorer Vitus Bering.

 Russia already has "the world's largest fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers," he said.

"We will continue developing all sorts of vessels," the president said.

 Russian enterprises built 90% of the new vessel's body, Putin said.

 The icebreaker Vitus Bering will service the Berkut oil rig, operating off Sakhalin's northeastern coast, all year round.

 The vessel was launched on June 30, 2012, tested in November and transferred to the Sovcomflot shipping company on December 21.

 A series of multirole icebreakers is being built at the Arctech shipyard, a joint venture of Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation and STX Finland. All vessels of this series will be included in the Russian International Ship Register and will operate under the Russian flag.

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