TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s newest ocean research vessel was delivered Tuesday, marking a milestone in domestic shipbuilding and putting the country on track to improve its marine, climate and oceanographic research.
The “New R/V Ocean Researcher 1” is the third and largest vessel in a fleet of three commissioned by the government and built by CSBC Corp., Taiwan at a cost of NT$1.6 billion (US$52 million).
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) took delivery Tuesday of the 2,155-ton New R/V OR1, which can carry 47 people.
It will be handed over to National Taiwan University (NTU) to replace the R/V OR1, which was launched in 1985, and it will be used for advanced academic projects and national ocean research programs, NTU said.
“This vessel features a highly advanced weather radar and sonar system that could help us gather weather and underwater landform data,” said Jan Sen (詹森), director of NTU’s Institute of Oceanography.
For example, he said, the weather radar can obtain data within a 150-kilometer radius and transmit it to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).
CWB specialist Wu Wan-hua (伍婉華) said that when combined with the information obtained from weather satellites, the data collected on the ship could give the CWB a more comprehensive profile of the conditions at sea.
The New R/V OR1 is scheduled to make its maiden voyage in December, traveling to Guam for an international academic cooperation program, according to Jan.
He said the delivery of the last ship in the fleet of three, commissioned by the government, represented a milestone in Taiwan’s shipbuilding program.
The three vessels were designed and constructed by CSBC Corp., Taiwan, with the other two — the 500-ton New R/V OR2 and New R/V OR3 — delivered last year.
According to MOST, the New R/V OR2 has been assigned to biology and geology research, while the New R/V OR3 focuses on mineral resources.
Taiwan also has a 2,629-ton research vessel the “Legend,” which is deployed for deep-sea studies, the ministry said.