Wartsila-Powered Multi-Role Research Ship Delivered By Swan Hunter Shipbuilders

Swan Hunter Shipbuilders of Great Britain has delivered the RRS (Royal Research Ship) James Clark Ross to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The 325-foot-long by 61.8-footbeam vessel is designed as a multirole ship, to be capable of operating safely in Polar waters, for the transportation of cargo and personnel from the U.K. and South Atlantic ports to research stations maintained by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), one of the Council's component institutes, in the Antarctic; to discharge cargo without the assistance of normal port facilities such as quays and cranes; and to carry out a wide variety of marine science programs in the Southern Ocean and worldwide.

The research complex on the RRS James Clark Ross comprises nearly 400 square meters of wet, dry and environmentally controlled laboratories, workshops, cool and cold rooms, computer and data preparation suite, underway instrumentation and control room and conference/ library facilities.

The cargo facilities consist of two holds capable of carrying 1,800 cubic meters of general cargo, bulk aviation fuel tanks for 250 tons of turbine fuel to support the Antarctic air operation and up to 500 tons of cargo diesel fuel for the Antarctic stations.

The propulsion system is diesel electric, based on the "power-house" principle comprising four Wartsila Diesel engines generating up to 8,500 hp at the shaft. This system provides the necessary power to permit the ship to break level ice up to 800 mm thick at a constant speed of 2 knots. White Gill bow and stern thrusters and a "joystick" control system will allow good station keeping capability for overside operations.

The RRS James Clark Ross will provide a first-class platform for marine science into the 21st century and enable the British Antarctic Survey to maintain the essential high level of support to its Antarctic stations.

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Other stories from November 1991 issue


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