Aker Arctic, a subsidiary of shipbuilder STX Finland, has been awarded a $6.16 million contract to design and model test a new research icebreaker for China’s Arctic & Antarctic Administration and the Polar Research Institute of China. The new ship, to measure 120m by 23m, will sail on a loaded draught of 8.5m. Propulsion will be by twin azimuthing drives that will allow it to break through ice up to 1.5m thick at three knots. Accommodation is to be arranged for up to 90 crew and scientists, and a range of marine equipment will be carried. Once completed, she will join China’s existing icebreaker Xuelong, (Snow Dragon), which was completed in 1993.


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