• A concept image of the new icebreaker.
Serco Defence
    A concept image of the new icebreaker. Serco Defence

Damen Marine Components (DMC) has completed the supply and installation of a number of critical systems in an important milestone in the build of the Antarctic Supply Research Vessel (ASRV) Nuyina for the Australian Antarctic Division.

The RSV Nuyina will offer scientists unprecedented and extended access to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. Replacing the Aurora Australis, the 160-metre long, 24,000-tonne ship will face stresses normally experienced by a vessel of 300 metres or more due to imposing Antarctic conditions.

Consequently, the systems had to be fabricated to high standards to cope with the ice that the vessel will encounter in the Southern Ocean. The rudders, for example, were designed and engineered by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding as free-hanging, full-spade rudders. Other features include the integrated mechanical rudder stoppers, which are located between the rudder blade and (hull) skeg structure rather than on the outside hull.

The ship is currently under construction in Romania. It is required to be quiet enough to allow scientists to use acoustic instruments, but powerful enough to break almost two metres of ice at a continuous speed of three knots.

When complete, the ship will rise to 10 decks at navigation bridge level and measure 50.2 metres from the keel to the top of the weather radar.

Separately, Serco Defence Electrical Engineering Manager Daniel Webster recently joined an AAD expedition to Macquarie Island, located approximately half way between Australia and Antarctica, as part of the company’s preparations for the arrival of RSV Nuyina. In good weather the voyage takes about three days by sea.

During the voyage, Webster’s role was to observe AAD operations on-board, taking note for when the RSV Nuyina begins to perform similar work for the AAD from next year.

“During my time on the vessel I was able to see how the AAD conduct resupply operations to Macquarie Island, refuelling and the interaction between the ship’s crew and the AAD,” Webster said.

“This opportunity has helped me to gain a better understating of the operating and maintaining phases for the RSV Nuyina.”

Serco will be responsible for operating and maintaining the vessel after its arrival in Hobart in 2020.

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