Polar icebreaker Xuelong 2 delivered for use
Updated 19:31, 11-Jul-2019

Xuelong 2, China's first domestically-build polar research vessel and icebreaker, was delivered for use in Shanghai Thursday.

It took approximately ten years to design and build the vessel, said Xuelong 2 Chief Designer Wu Gang.

Finland's Aker Arctic Technology co-designed the ship, but the core design, including the open water performance, construction design, and shipbuilding technology, were all finished by domestic design, classification, and shipyard groups, noted Wu who praised the world-class technological innovations.

Xuelong 2 is 122.5 meters long and 22.32 meters wide, weighing 13,996 metric tons. It can sail more than 37,000 km in a single voyage and sustain a 60-day expedition with 90 researchers and crew members on board. The vessel can reach a top speed of 15 knots (or 27.8 km) per hour, according to China State Shipbuilding Corp.

Touted as the first polar research vessel with bi-directional icebreaking technology, Xuelong 2 is capable of breaking through 1.5 meter-thick icebergs thanks to its advanced icebreaking technology.

Before the delivery of Xuelong 2, it's polar icebreaker predecesor Xuelong was built in Ukraine as a cargo ship rather than for scientific research. Xuelong was purchased by China repurposed for scientific expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic since 1993.

Both Xuelong and Xuelong 2 are scheduled to carry out China's 36th Antarctic scientific expedition in the second half of 2019.