Russia this week officially launched the Arktika, a massive nuclear-powered ship that is now the world's largest icebreaker.
National Public Radio reports that the vessel, deployed well ahead of schedule, is 568 feet long and powered by two nuclear reactors — and can break through ice at depths of up to 13 feet.
The Arktika is just one of several new Russian icebreakers in the works, and authorities are also building new bases in the Arctic Circle. Russia, NPR notes, believes that rising global temperatures in the Arctic will enable more shipping routes and expose new mineral resources.
Russia already deploys more than 24 ocean-faring icebreakers; the U.S. Coast Guard operates just one.