New polar research ship for UK | JPI OCEANS

New polar research ship for UK


New polar research ship for UK

The UK government announced to invest £200m in a new state-of-the-art polar research ship

The investment is part of £1.1bn annual capital budget for science and research over the next five years, which is the subject of a consultation with the scientific community in the UK.

The new polar ship will provide a cutting-edge research facility with greater ice-strengthened capability and longer endurance than the existing polar research ships of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) which are coming to the end of their operational life. NERC will be working with the UK science community to refine the technical requirements for the ship to enable research with the greatest potential to deliver economic and societal benefits, placing environmental science at the heart of responsible management of our planet.

The ship will be operated by NERC's British Antarctic Survey and is expected to be ready for operation by 2019.

Key facts about the new polar research ship:

  • It will be able to deploy and recover large remotely-operated and autonomous marine vehicles, such as NERC's autonomous submarine 'Autosub'.
  • It will incorporate a helideck and hangar.
  • The laboratory space will be flexible to meet the evolving needs of science over the lifetime of the ship.
  • It is expected to have ice-breaking capabilities that will allow it to break ice of up to 2 metres when travelling at 3 knots.
  • It will be able to accommodate up to 60 researchers and technical support staff.
  • It will have around 80 days endurance, which means it can cover up to 24,000 nautical miles.
  • It will have a cargo volume of around 4,200 cubic metres.
  • The length overall will be 129.6m; breadth is 25m; draught is 7.5m, and gross tonnage is 12,790 tonnes.

More information:

NERC website 

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