China launches first home­made ice­breaker

China Daily European Weekly - - NEWS DIGEST -

China has launched its first do­mes­ti­cally built po­lar re­search ves­sel and ice­breaker, Xue­long 2, or Snow Dragon 2, which will be op­er­a­tional in the first half of 2019. The ves­sel was de­ployed in Shang­hai on Sept 10 and will go through a se­ries of tests and in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion be­fore be­gin­ning of­fi­cial oper­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to its builder, Jiang­nan Ship­yard Group. The launch of the ves­sel has ex­ten­sively boosted China’s po­lar re­search and ex­pe­di­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to the builder. The ves­sel is 122.5 me­ters long and 22.3 me­ters wide, with a dis­place­ment of 13,990 met­ric tons and a nav­i­ga­tion ca­pa­bil­ity of 20,000 nau­ti­cal miles. It can sail on 60-day ex­pe­di­tions with 90 crew mem­bers and re­searchers. Con­struc­tion of the ves­sel started in De­cem­ber 2016.

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