China launches first icebreaking polar research vessel

Photo: Xinhua
Photo: Xinhua

China’s first domestically-built polar research vessel and icebreaker Xue Long 2 (Snow Dragon 2) was launched on Monday at CSSC’s Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.

The EUR5 million design contract for the ship was signed in 2012 with Aker Arctic, though construction did not begin until December 2016. She is expected to enter service in 2019.

She will serve both as a supply vessel for China’s research facilities in the Arctic and Antarctic regions and as a research vessel, with capabilities for geological and biological experimentation and surveying.

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