China has kicked off a new project of building a mother vessel for a 11,000-meter manned submersible as part of the country’s deep-sea research program.
The vessel, Zhang Jian, named after the founder of Shanghai Ocean University, will serve the manned submersible ‘Rainbow Fish’ which is capable of diving to a depth of 11,000 meters.
Furthermore, according to Cui Weicheng, director of Hadal Research Center at Shanghai Ocean University, the vessel will also be used for general ocean expedition missions, deep-sea engineering work, rescue and salvage, underwater archaeology and film shooting such as deep-sea exploration.
According to reports, the Zhang Jang will be 97 meters long and 17.8 meters wide. It has a designed displacement of around 4,800 tonnes and a 15,000-nautical mile endurance ability.
The vessel is designed to accommodate 60 people, has a self-sustaining capacity of 60 days and will be equipped , among other thing, with laboratories, data processing and information centers.
The keel laying ceremony took place this Saturday, April 18, 2015. The ship will be built by Zhejiang Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and it’s scheduled for delivery in 2016.