Damen has cut first steel on Australia's Antarctic supply research vessel at its yard in Galati, Romania.
Damen is constructing the vessel for Serco Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco Australia who, in turn, signed a contract with the Australian Government last year for the delivery, operation and maintenance of the vessel.
The 160-meter (525-foot) vessel will perform numerous tasks for the Australian Antarctic Division. The new vessel is a multi-mission ship designed to sustain Australia's geographically dispersed stations, support helicopter operations, sustain shore parties on remote islands, map the seafloor and undertake a variety of scientific activities across the Southern Ocean.
To fulfil these diverse roles, the vessel boasts considerable cargo capacity: up to 96 TEUs below decks and 14 TEUs and six 10-foot containers on the aft deck, as well as more above the helicopter hanger and in front of the helideck.
This represents a substantial increase in container carrying capacity from the Australian Antarctic Division's current vessel, the Aurora Australis, which can transport a total 19 containers. In practical terms, this means that the vessel will be able to resupply two stations in one voyage.
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