Damen Shipyard Builds a New Icebreaker for Australia
The Australian company DMS Maritime Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Serco Australia, has been selected to undertake the ship design and building process of the faster, larger, stronger and the most enduring custom built icebreaker. It will then operate and maintain the icebreaker built by Damen Shipyards.
The single biggest investment in the history of Australia’s Antarctic program will form the centerpiece of Australia’s Antarctic presence. It will be uniquely tailored to meet Australia’s needs. It will be a modern platform for marine science research in both sea ice and open water capable of seafloor mapping and cutting edge research.
The vessel is expected to accommodate 34 DMS Maritime crew and up to 116 scientific personnel and has the ability to embark up to four helicopters, two landing craft and a dedicated science tender. Its physical specification is expected to be 156 metres in length and 23,400 tonnes displacement.
“Since 1912 when Douglas Mawson planted the Australian flag for the first time on the shores of Commonwealth Bay,” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “We are a very staunch and committed supporter of the Antarctic treaty system. We are committed to Antarctica remaining a natural reserve devoted to science and to peace.”
Australia, with a very large territory of over 40 per cent of the Antarctic continent, is recognized as a leader in Antarctica and that will continue. The government has already made $87 million in commitments to its Antarctic interests; which include $25 million over five years for the Antarctic climate and ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, $24 million over three years for the creation of an Antarctic gateway partnership involving the Antarctic Division, the University of Tasmania and the CSIRO and $38 million for an extension to the Hobart Airport runway.
For decades, the Aurora Australis has been an icon in Hobart. The new ship will also be home ported in Hobart, further demonstrating the Government’s commitment to Tasmania’s role as the gateway to East Antarctica. The new icebreaker is expected to be commissioned in October 2019.
Source: Prime Minister of Australia