The support ship YOKOSUKA performs surveys of the deep-sea bottom by acting as a support ship for SHINKAI 6500, a large submersible research vehicle. SHINKAI 6500 is capable of diving to a maximum depth of 6,500 m in the world.
In addition, the ship has a variety of functions for clarifying the surface layer of the deep-sea bottom, fault topography and geological structure and can be used for comprehensive research and observation of the deep sea and ocean trench areas.
YOKOSUKA features equipment for communicating with SHINKAI 6500 while it performs underwater surveys. This communications equipment utilizes sound waves to make transmissions. Sound waves travel at a speed of around 1,500 m per second in water, and transmissions from YOKOSUKA therefore take around four seconds to reach SHINKAI 6500 when it is operating at a depth of 6,500 m.
YOKOSUKA features an extraordinarily large hangar for a ship of its size. The hangar measures 9 m long, 2 m wide, and 3 m high, and is used for housing and performing repairs and modifications on SHINKAI 6500.
A massive A-frame crane is installed on the aft deck of YOKOSUKA for launching and recovering the almost 26 ton SHINKAI 6500.
|Gross tonnage||4,439 ton|
|Cruising speed||12 knots|
|Range||Approx. 9,500 nautical miles|
|Accommodation||60 (45crew, 15 research personnel)|
|Main propulsion system||Diesel engines: 2,206kW × 2|
|Main propulsion method||Controllable pitch propeller × 2|