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Sideways Ice-Breaking Ships

The Baltika Icebreaker Can Move Sideways While Clearing Ice

— April 6, 2014 — Tech
Baltika is a humongous icebreaker ship that is novel in that is able to travel sideways while clearing ice. Built by Finland's Arctech Helsinki Shipyard for the Russian Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, the Baltika can temporarily increase its frontal area by moving sideways, allowing it to clear larger amounts of ice.

When traveling through open water, the Baltika moves forward like a regular ship. On approaching ice however, the ship can be pivoted to move forward at an angle of up to 30 degrees. This is made possible by three propulsors on the bottom of the ship, each of which can rotate 360 degrees.

This novel technology allows the ship to clear a 50-meter wide channel of ice even though its own width is just 20.5 meters. It can break through ice up to 600 cm thick when moving sideways or 1 meter thick when moving forwards.
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