The new ice-class vessel “Kronprins Haakon” is one of the world’s most advanced research vessels. This icebreaker-class vessel will work to satisfy both existing and new demands, operating in frozen and open waters at all times of the year, conducting monitoring operations and collecting data.

With 15 laboratories that can play host to most research disciplines, and with some of the most comprehensive equipment packages supplied to any research vessel, the ship will monitor the environmental and climate conditions in marine areas in the Arctic and Antarctic.

State-of-the-art research facilities

The vessel is equipped with sonar that can provide information about details on the seabed. It also has a remote-controlled submarine that can go down to a depth of 6,000 metres, a helicopter deck, seismic and trawling equipment, as well as being able to send out weather balloons that can establish profiles of the atmosphere. The vessel has considerable carrying capacity, sufficient for containers, cargo and extensive supplies for working in the field. The ship also has a “moon pool”, which makes it possible to open a hatch in the bottom and send equipment down into the water, even if the ship is encased in sea ice.

The ship is constructed from steel plate with a thickness of up to 40 mm. The icebreaker bow, combined with considerable propulsion power, allows the vessel to maintain a steady 3.5 knots through solid ice up to a thickness of one metre. In more severe conditions, the hull is dimensioned to allow the vessel to pick up speed, ram into the ice and drive up onto it, breaking the ice under the weight of the ship.

Low emissions and excellent safety

The vessel has been built in accordance with the latest safety regulations, as well as producing low emissions thanks to its state-of-the-art engines. The ship has a double hull, which will prevent tanks from being breached should the vessel run aground. The vessel can accommodate rescue helicopters, tow other boats, extinguish ship fires and receive equipment for oil spill preparedness and response, which means it can come to the aid of other ships in the event of accidents.