Rolls-Royce to Equip UK’s New Polar Research Vessel

Cammell Laird has selected a Rolls-Royce design for the UK’s new £200 million polar research ship.

Rolls-Royce will also supply machinery and equipment for the vessel in a deal worth £30 million ($43.2 million).

The 128 meter long ship, which will be named RRS Sir David Attenborough, will be built at Cammell Laird’s site in Birkenhead on Merseyside.

The new polar research vessel is being commissioned by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for operation by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

It represents the biggest commercial shipbuilding contract in Britain, Rolls-Royce said.

The ship’s purpose, when it enters service in 2019, will be to carry out oceanographic and other scientific work in both the Antarctic and Arctic as well as transporting supplies to Antarctic research stations.

John Syvret CBE, Cammell Laird, CEO, said: “This state of the art vessel shows what Cammell Laird is capable of as one of Europe’s most innovative, best equipped and highest skilled marine engineering service providers. We are looking forward to working with our long standing supplier Rolls-Royce and combining their industry leading expertise and experience with our world-class facilities and workforce to deliver the most advanced polar research vessel ever constructed.”

Helge Gjerde, Rolls-Royce, president – Offshore & Merchant Solutions, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with Cammell Laird and are proud that our design and a wide range of advanced Rolls-Royce ship equipment has been chosen for such an innovative vessel. Cammell Laird has chosen a design that meets a very demanding list of requirements to ensure NERC/BAS have the very best equipped ship available.”

Cammell Laird’s requirements for Rolls-Royce to meet when designing the vessel included: polar code 4 ice class, a high endurance factor, with the capacity to be self-sufficient in fuel and supplies on voyages up to 19,000 nautical miles, space for a total of 90 people and a large cargo capacity. The vessel is also designed to generate very low levels of underwater radiated noise and minimise the risk of pollution. Onboard laboratories will allow the prompt analysis of samples.

Rolls-Royce will provide Cammell Laird with the diesel electric propulsion system powered by the new Bergen B33:45 engines (two nine cylinder and two six cylinder engines) and equipped with two 4.5 meters diameter Rolls-Royce controllable pitch propellers (CPP).

Jørn Heltne, Rolls-Royce, senior vice president for sales in Ship Design & Systems, said: “A key part of our extensive delivery for Cammell Laird included in this vessel will be the automation and control systems, including our Dynamic Positioning system and the award winning Unified Bridge. This will provide the crew with the most advanced and innovative working conditions and operator tools on a vessel bridge today.”

In its supply vessel mode the UT 851 PRV will be able to transport fuels and containerized cargo. It will also have a helideck with the capacity to operate two helicopters.

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