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The oldest active icebreaker

The Finnish icebreaker Voima (Strength) is celebrating its 70th birthday this year as the oldest ship of its class still in active service. Completed by the Wärtsilä Helsinki shipyard in 1954 as the first of a new series of icebreakers to emerge from Finland’s post-war reconstruction programme, the 4,159grt Voima was equipped with two symmetrical propellers of opposite rotation driven by six Atlas Polar engines developing a total of 9,000 kW.

Between 1978 and 1979 the vessel was extensively modernised when six Wärtsilä 16V22 engines totaling 12,840 kW took the place of the older Atlas units while the interior was completely renovated to meet modern standards and a new navigation bridge installed.

In addition, the ship’s hull sides were reinforced with new plates to increase protection against ice pressure. Today, the 70-year-old icebreaker measures 83.5m by 19.4m on a displacement of 5,209 tonnes and is capable of maintaining a speed of 16 knots while having a bollard pull of 113 tonnes.

(Caption: Built in 1954, the Finnish icebreaker Voima has been modernised with new engines and a new accommodation block and bridge over the years. Shipspotting/Jukka Koskimies)

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