State-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp is going beyond building navy vessels and making advanced scientific research ships. For long, it was the largest supplier of surface combatants to the Chinese Navy. All of the Navy’s Type 052D class guided-missile destroyers and Type 054A guided-missile frigates, the most powerful of their kind, were manufactured by the Beijing-headquartered CSSC. In late June, it launched the nation’s largest and mightiest destroyer, the first in the Type 055 class, at its Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. Encouraged by government measures to boost transfer of defense-related technologies to civilian and business sectors, CSSC has been using its expertise in the research and development of naval hardware to construct high-tech civilian ships, said company officials.
The company is currently making a polar research icebreaker−the first to be built from the keel up by China−at the Jiangnan Shipyard, and the country’s first marine resources survey ship at the Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Both ships will have the top technological and operational capacity of their kind in the world. They are scheduled to be completed and commissioned by the State Oceanic Administration in 2019, the company said. The polar research icebreaker will be about 123 meters long and 22 m wide, with a displacement of nearly 14,000 metric tons. Carrying up to 90 crew members and researchers, it is designed to be able to travel 20,000 nautical miles or 37,000 kilometers on each journey, according to CSSC.
It is expected to team up with research icebreaker Xuelong, now China’s only icebreaker used for polar expeditions. “The new ship will improve the nation’s capabilities in supporting polar expeditions and surveying the polar marine environment,” said Yang Huigen, head of the Polar Research Institute of China. The marine resources survey ship will be 98 meters long and 17 m wide and will have a displacement of 4,000 tons. It will be driven by an advanced electric propulsion system. The new vessel is expected to carry more than 70 kinds of scientific research equipment, and is capable of conducting high-accuracy, long-term survey in a wide range of fields such as marine geology, marine ecology and ocean-atmosphere system.
The ship will be able to travel at least 6,000 nautical miles or 11,110 kilometers in a single journey, according to CSSC. Over the past year, CSSC has delivered the nation’s most advanced space-tracking ship, the 30,000-ton Yuanwang-7, and the world’s largest maritime surveillance ship, the 10,000-ton Coast Guard 3901.
Source: China Daily