The world's most advanced icebreaker purchased by Australia has arrived in Tasmania to support Antarctic expeditions.
The Australian Antarctic Division has taken possession of a state-of-the-art icebreaker—the RSV Nuyina—after the vessel arrived in Hobart, following a 24,000 km maiden voyage from the Netherlands.
The 160 metre-long vessel is the world's most advanced icebreaker. It will pave the way for future Antarctic expeditions by greatly assisting Antarctic and Southern Ocean researchers from the Australian Antarctic Program. The RSV Nuyina—a Tasmanian Aboriginal word meaning 'southern lights’—cost $529 million to build and is an Australian Government commitment that, in terms of research and exploration over the next thirty years, might be worth over $1.9 billion. The ship has the following capabilities:
- A 'moon pool' that opens through the ship to deploy equipment when in ice.
- A 'wet well' that can process 5000 litres of seawater in a minute.
- A trawl deck that carries winches that tow nets deploying deep-sea cameras and other instruments.
- A tongue-like gangway at the bow that can measure sea ice before it's disturbed.
- An array of onboard laboratories.