Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has selected marine technology firm Kongsberg Maritime’s hydroacoustic systems package for a new polar research vessel.
Construction of the RV Kronprins Haakon, which is the first Norwegian icebreaker built for polar research, is expected to start in June at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Italy.
For this project, Kongsberg will deliver its survey technology, which includes a wide range of Simrad scientific research technologies and an extensive K-Bridge system that will help the vessel meet complex navigation needs.
The scope of Kongsberg’s delivery includes deep and medium-depth multi-beams for bottom mapping, including the EM 302, EM 710 and EA 600, and SBP300 and TOPAS for sub-bottom structures. The vessel will have an HiPAP 501 system for position reference.
The research ship will also have installed Simrad scientific systems consisting of a new EK80 wideband, single-beam, modern scientific multibeam tools ME70 and MS70, and omnidirectional sonars SH90, along with the new SU90, which can detect and track biology for several kilometres around the vessel.
In addition, the firm will supply the new Simrad FX80 trawl monitoring system, offering a live camera feed from the vessel sampling trawl.
The new-build will be operated by the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) under ownership of the Norwegian Polar Institute.
It will be able to cover a wide range of marine research operations, including monitoring fishing stocks, metrological studies, sea floor sampling and mapping.
Kronprins Haakon assistant project leader Øystein Mikelborg said: "Kronprins Haakon will serve as Norway’s main platform for polar expeditions for many years to come, and we’re confident that it will have the very best instruments available when it becomes operational in 2017."
In March, Fincantieri selected Rolls-Royce to deliver a fully integrated propulsion system for this research vessel.
Image: FF Kronprins Haakon will be used for significant environmental research at the north and south poles. Photo: courtesy of Kongsberg Maritime AS.