A new research vessel ordered by marine science principals in Belgium is to be built by Spanish shipbuilder Freire in Vigo and will be based on a UT 844 WP design from Rolls-Royce.
The research vessel will undertake projects in the fields of geology and sedimentology, fisheries, biology, chemistry, oceanography, meteorology and hydrography. When completed, the ship will replace the Belgian research vessel RV Belgica.
Capable of undertaking research and surveys in waters from the Mediterranean to the far north, the IMO Polar Code-compliant ship will also have equipment from Rolls-Royce including the main propulsion system, side thrusters, a Promas integrated propulsion and manoeuvring system, a power electric system, steering gear, a Unified Bridge, and automation and control systems for propulsion and dynamic positioning.
Rolls-Royce’s director of Digital Systems – Marine, Asbjørn Skaro, noted that this is the third European research vessel for which Rolls-Royce designs and equipment have been chosen. Similar vessels have been built for the Norwegians and the British.
The project team responsible for the ship is made up of the Belgian Defence authority, the Belgian Science Policy Office, and the operations division of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
The vessel is due for delivery towards the end of 2020.