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Russian company develops ship-mounted ice-cutting laser

Russian technology company Shvabe Holding said it is ready to begin testing its latest creation — a ship-mounted laser cannon that can cut through ice.

“We developed this ship-mounted laser for exploration and development in the Arctic, which has difficult ice conditions where platforms must operate and ships must pass through. This laser works like glass cutters, snipping away at the ice, and then the ship, using its own weight, can push through,” CEO Sergey Maksin said at the international exhibition Defense Expo.

The laser cannon is being mounted on an icebreaker and tested, the company said. The laser also can cut ice heading toward oil and gas platforms in the Arctic seas, making it easier to break up the ice, according to the company.

Maksin said that if the tests are successful, the lasers also can be placed on lightweight ice-class vessels to help ensure the delivery of products along northern Siberian rivers, where ice is thinner.

The first deliveries of the device can be expected in 2015.

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