Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of our Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research.
Construction of the ship at Damen Shipyards in Romania commenced in May 2017, with a steel cutting ceremony, while a keel laying ceremony in August saw the first building-block of the ship consolidated in the drydock. In September 2018 the ship was floated from the dry dock to the wet dock, for the next phase of construction. As of July 2020, construction of the ship is 98% complete, but final harbour testing, and sea and ice trials, have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the ship is expected to arrive in Hobart in 2021. Watch fore and aft time-lapse videos (https://www.antarctica.gov.au/antarctic-operations/webcams/nuyina/) of the ship’s construction in the drydock, on our webcam page, and follow the links for videos, images and more information about the ship at (https://www.antarctica.gov.au/antarctic-operations/travel-and-logistics/ships/icebreaker/).
Replacing the Aurora Australis, the RSV Nuyina will be faster, larger, stronger and offer increased endurance. At 160.3 metres long and 25,500 tonnes, the vessel will be powerful enough to break 1.65 metres of ice at a continuous speed of three knots, quiet enough to allow researchers to use acoustic instruments, and large enough to resupply two of Australia’s four Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations in one voyage.
The vessel will accommodate 34 Serco crew and up to 116 AAD scientific personnel, and has the ability to embark up to four helicopters, two landing craft and a dedicated science tender.
The icebreaker is currently undergoing Harbour Acceptance Testing in Vlissingen in the Netherlands, and is expected to arrive in Hobart in 2021.
Ship of the Week courtesy of Capt. Stan Bowles, BowTech Maritime Inc.