Damen has cut first steel on Australia’s Antarctic supply research vessel at its yard in Galati, Romania. The new vessel is a multi-mission ship designed to sustain geographically dispersed stations, support helicopter operations, sustain shore parties on remote islands, map the seafloor and undertake a variety of scientific activities across the Southern Ocean.
Damen is constructing the ASRV for Serco Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Serco Australia who, in turn, signed a contract with the Australian Government last year for the delivery, operation and maintenance of the vessel. The 160-metre ASRV will perform numerous tasks for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).
To fulfil these diverse roles, the ASRV boasts considerable cargo capacity: up to 96 TEU below decks and 14 TEU and six 10-foot containers on the aft deck, as well as more above the helicopter hanger and in front of the helideck.
This represents a substantial increase in container carrying capacity from the AAD’s current vessel, the Aurora Australis, which can transport a total 19 containers. In practical terms, this means that the ice-breaking ASRV will be able to resupply two stations in one voyage.
The vessel design also incorporates a ‘wet well’ sampling space, a scientifically pioneering installation that consists of a watertight room below the water line that can be used for biological sampling. Further activities such as seismic mapping, AUV operation and net deployment can be performed on the sizeable aft deck.