China begins building new mother ship for old sub

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/18 22:18:40

Chinese engineers began building first exclusive mother ship for the crewed submersible Jiaolong in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province on Saturday in a bid to boost the nation's deep sea exploration.

Construction on Shenhai No.1 - Deep Sea No.1 - will be finished by the end of the year. The ship is scheduled to enter trial operation on August 31 next year, Guangming Daily reported on Monday. Shenhai No.1 should officially enter service in March 2019.

Sun Shuxian, a deputy chief of the State Oceanic Administration, said on Saturday that  construction of Shenhai No.1 will help boost Jiaolong's performance and improve China's deep sea exploration.

As Jiaolong's first exclusive mother ship, Shenhai No.1 will replace Xiangyanghong 09, a vessel that entered service in December 1978.

The new vessel built by the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Company will be 90.2 meters long and 16.8 meters wide and its cruising range will surpass 14,000 nautical miles, the report said. Jiaolong will also have an exclusive maintenance hangar.

Shenhai No.1 will increase Jiaolong's diving time and improve its deep sea exploration efficiency, Liu Baohua, chief secretary of the National Deep Sea Center, told Guangming Daily.

The China-made submersible made 30 dives during the country's 38th oceanic scientific expedition in May and June and descended to nearly 6,700 meters in the Yap Trench of the West Pacific, close to its 2012 record of 7,062 meters, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Global Times



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