ARGALIUM CLASS | ICEBREAKER
Length: 122 meters
Width: 23 meters
Draft: 9.4 meters
Displacement: 18,000 tons
The Argalium-class nuclear icebreaker and marine research vessel is a vital asset for keeping sea-lanes clear of ice. The design was commissioned by the Viceroyalty of the Maltropian Islands in 1994, and entered into service in 1996 clearing the busy shipping lanes between Argensborough and mainland Maltropia. It is also capable of filling a role, by design, as a marine research vessel, with sophisticated monitoring and sonar systems coming as standard. This dual-function nature allows it to be used year round, even in the summer months, in either of its roles.
Because its icebreaking role causes the hull to come into regular hard physical contact with thick ice, the Argalium has both an outer and inner hull. The outer hull is 45 mm thick, and the inner 20 mm; both are made of reinforced steel manufactured to resist cold waters by the Norn Ironworks. The thin space between the hulls is used for ballasting, as the vessel's design makes navigating in open waters more difficult than for most ship types. The bow is shaped in such a way as to maximise the Argalium's icebreaking ability, causing the front of the vessel to push onto ice and break it under the ship's weight. A curved bow shape facilitates the ice being pushed to one side once it is broken to leave a path clear for ships following.
Because of the power necessary for pushing through sea ice, the Argalium is powered by two Enmar Industries NK-D500 pressurised water nuclear reactors, providing a total propulsive force of 65,700 ship horsepower or 49 megawatts under normal operating conditions. Two propellers located aft, behind the rudder, provide the ship's movement capacity. In addition to this, a third, smaller propeller is located under the Argalium's bow, allowing the ship to reverse in the event that it becomes stuck.
The ship's nuclear reactors require a large crew to operate, which means that the vessel has higher operating costs than are standard for Maritime Imperial's vessels. Nevertheless, the ship maintains the efficiency that is our hallmark, requiring only 95 crew where most other ships of similar design would require more. This is as a result of a high level of mechanisation in all aspects of the Argalium's running, while maintaining comparative accessibility for repairs, which we recommend be conducted at any registered Maritime Imperial shipyard to ensure smooth operation and a long service life. Assuming regular maintenance, the vessel has an estimated service life of 30 years, though certain components, particularly around the reactors, may require replacement prior to this time.
The standard purchase model of the Argalium comes with cutting-edge navigational equipment, including sonar, and four lifeboats capable of holding up to thirty passengers each.
The vessel is used in New Hayesalian Navy service as a research vessel for interested parties such as universities and in a more traditional role of opening up frozen waters for the access of other NH Navy vessels.
The New Hayesalian variant also mounts a helipad at the aft of the vessel, with a specially-equipped EC725 Caracal aboard.