Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for construction of a wide-area seabed research vessel from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
The vessel is intended to advance wide-area research into seafloor resources, with comprehensive research capabilities to include elucidation of mineral and ore deposit origins and formation conditions, as well as contributions to disaster prevention research.
Construction is to get under way at MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture within the current fiscal year, with completion scheduled for March 2016.
The new wide-area seabed research vessel will be approximately 100 meters (m) in length and 19m in width, with a gross tonnage near 5,500 tons. It will be capable of operating such state-of-the-art equipment as a seismic research system for investigating crustal structure, large piston corers and a seafloor-mounted excavator for collecting seabed samples, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).
Speed will be approximately 12 knots, with a crew capacity of 65. The vessel will also be outfitted with a marine research laboratory enabling swift analysis of collected samples without any time-lag deterioration.