US shipbuilder Marinette Marine Corporation, Fincantieri’s US subsidiary, has received an order to build an oceanographic research vessel for the University of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The $120m vessel will be designed by marine architecture firm Glosten Associates and built at Marinette’s shipyard in Wisconsin.

Capable of working in the Arctic seas, the Bering Strait and the Gulf of Alaska, the 77m-long ship will be able to break ice up to 80cm thick.

The ship will be delivered in 2013 and will be owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the university as part of the US academic research fleet.