Saudi university taps US firm for design of new research vessel

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has awarded a contract to US-based naval architects Glosten for the design of a new oceanographic research ship to replace an earlier vessel that has been in service with the university since 2013.

Originally designed as a coastal fishing vessel for Australian waters, the 22-year-old Thuwal is set to be replaced by a larger and more capable vessel to enable the KAUST to conduct a broader range of missions in the Red Sea.

The replacement research vessel will be 50 metres long and will be fitted with advanced sampling systems and a deck that can accommodate equipment and sensors to be used in various disciplines. Completion is scheduled for 2026.

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