Arctic Research Vessel Construction Current Status

July 1, 2022

Arctic Research Vessel Construction Team

Arctic Research Vessel construction updates will be posted here on this blog page from now.

Shipbuilding is a big job for JAMSTEC that happens irregularly; since, there are no ship construction specialists, we have to get outside help, large or small, on a case-by-case basis.

The following parties will play a central role in the construction of the Arctic Research Vessel:

  • Ship Owner - JAMSTEC
  • Construction Supervisor - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) Corporation (including MOL Group members)
  • Shipbuilder - Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU)

The Construction Supervisor manages and coordinates the overall progress of the vessel based on the Ship Owner's intentions, and the Shipbuilder builds the vessel.

About 10 months have passed since the construction of this vessel began. As for how far we have come...

We can't see hide nor hair of the vessel yet!
All we have are design drawings of a side view and of each deck (or floor).

There are many things that need to be done before we start cutting steel.

By FY2020, the basic specifications of the ship have been studied, and the required functions and rough specifications have been compiled in the "Basic Construction Specifications."
However, we cannot build a ship, especially a research vessel, based on these specifications alone. We need to further refine the details, such as the locations of specific equipment based on usability, confirmation of the flow lines for passengers, and detailed system settings for safe operation.

The Ship Owner, the Construction Supervisor, and the Shipbuilder are currently engaged in ongoing discussions to achieve a better research vessel.

We also need to confirm during the design phase how much force the vessel will be subjected to from the sea and sea ice, and whether the vessel can operate properly with the propulsion system and rudder as currently planned.
We will do this by actually checking this at sea using a full-scale experimental model! …. Just kidding. There is no way we can do that. Since the vessel is nearly 130 meters long, it is too large to build a full-scale model, so we will build an elaborate scale model and conduct tests using an indoor water tank (test tank owned by the shipyard: 240 meters long x 18 meters wide x 8 meters deep, ice tank: 20 meters long x 6 meters wide x 1.8 meters deep, etc.). From the scale model test results, we will be able to estimate the capacity of the vessel scaled to the actual size of the planned vessel.
We have completed a series of tests from January to June 2022, and the results have been generally satisfactory.

We will continue to discuss detailed matters throughout this year.
Around the beginning of 2023, we plan to have a 3D model of the vessel created reflecting the detailed specs, so that we can see images from various perspectives.

We are looking forward to seeing how the ship, which now exists only in a 2D drawing, will be built.

Thumbnail is taken at the steady circular test. Click here to see videos of the entire model tests.