With increased interest in the new amounts of travel that might open up in the arctic regions, so-called "icebreaker" ships are as important as ever, and innovation should be encouraged to match this interest.

This has included more development in routes from Canada, and also, as RT reports, the introduction of a special vessel that could be used to push away ice that it approaches from any position while in movement. Though it is still being fine tuned, it represents a possible turning point for Russian activity in this area. 

Called the Baltika, the ship is reportedly smaller and faster-moving than some if its similarly designed brethren, but is equipped with a fortified ballast system that allows it to crack up ice from side to side. It can move 14 knots in open water and is equipped with its own helipad so as to act as a kind of floating base of operations when it is sent out on missions.

Wired also reports on the unique technique this ship uses to blaze its trail: it slides the hull onto the ice and shifts its weight, rather than drive at it head on. Then, the heavy force of the ship smashes through it.

Since ships can have their destinies outlined for them long before they've actually been built and tested, commercial watercraft insurance needs to be selected that fits the intended purpose of the craft as fully as possible. That can be difficult when a ship is breaking new ground—or ice—but the need is still there to make sure liability is at a minimum.

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