Construction is to start of a 46m-long research vessel of a new design developed by France’s iXblue Shipyard together with French marine architects Mauric and Drassm, the underwater archaeological research department of the French Ministry of Culture.
The vessel will be able to undertake oceanographic research, hydrographic work, fisheries research, geophysical, meteorological and underwater research plus underwater archaeology. The vessel has design features such as a minimised environmental impact from the recycled fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) hull. The construction of the hull mould should start by the end of 2019. Building of the vessel should start in 2020 with ex-pected delivery in 2021.
It will measure 46m of length overall, 9.2m of breadth and will have a draught of 3.2m. With a single shaft line and controllable pitch propeller, it will be powered by a 1,700-kW diesel engine. The vessel will reach a speed of 15 knots and the range at cruising speed of 12 knots will be about 3,200 nautical miles, enabling it to undertake expeditions beyond the Mediterranean Sea.