Oregon State University (OSU) has received an additional award of US$108.12 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to manage the construction of a third Regional-class research vessel to help bolster the nation’s aging academic research fleet.
In 2013, the NSF selected OSU to lead the initial design phase for as many as three new vessels, and the National Science Board authorised as much as US$365 million for the project.
Gulf Island Shipyards in Houma, Louisiana, was selected to construct the first vessel, which OSU will operate. Named Taani (pronounced “Tawny”), the vessel will operate primarily in the Pacific Ocean.
Funding for a second vessel was approved in June 2018, and NSF selected the East Coast Oceanographic Consortium led by the University of Rhode Island (URI) to operate the vessel primarily in the Atlantic Ocean. The vessel will be named Resolution in honour of the second ship of famed British explorer Captain James Cook.
The NSF has not yet chosen an operating institution for this third vessel, although it will be targeted for work in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Southeast Atlantic Ocean. Gulf Island Shipyards will build all three vessels.
Construction of the newly announced third ship is slated to begin in November 2019 and be completed six months after that of Resolution, which is expected to be delivered in January 2022.
Like its sisters, the third Regional-class ship will have a length of 199 feet (60.65 metres), a range of more than 5,000 nautical miles, a maximum speed of 13 knots, 16 berths for scientists and 13 for crewmembers, and an endurance of 21 days.
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