Built in Ukraine in 1993, MV Xuelong was an icebreaker ice-strengthened to Class B1. China bought it and refitted it into a polar research vessel by making an investment of 31 million yuan (RMB), which has been put into service in place of R/V Jidi since 1994. The main technical indexes of the ship are as follows.
Total length: 167.0 m
Moulded breadth: 22.6 m
Moulded depth: 13.5 m
Full draft: 9.0 m
Full displacement: 21, 025 tons
Maximum speed: 18 knots
Cruising radius: 20, 000 nm
Main engine power: 13, 200 kw
Auxiliary engine power: 800 kw × 3
Deadweight capacity: 10, 225 tons
The vessel is provided with advanced navigational, positioning and automatic piloting systems as well as platform which can accommodate two helicopters, a hangar and necessary equipment. She can continuously break ice as thick as 1.1 m (including 0.2 m thick snow) at a sailing speed of 1.5 knot. On board of the ship, there are labs of marine physics, marine chemistry and biology, and meteorological and clean labs as well as a data processing center, covering an area of 200 m2. The vessel is fitted with internationally advanced apparatuses and equipment for ocean survey such as CTD and ADCP. Besides, the vessel has 128 berths. The MV Xuelong is now subordinate to the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC).
In Junuary 2014, MV XUELONG paticipated the rescue of Akademik Shokalskiy, transferring 52 passangers to MV Aurora Australis using its carried helicopter XUEYING .
Following the Akademik Shokalskiy rescue operation in the Antarctic, XUELONG was on its way back to China. When docked in Perth,XUELONG was dispatched to join the multinational search operation for MH370 in India Ocean until 1 April 2014, afterwards back to its home port, Shanghai.
For more information about M/V XUELONG, please visit Xuelong Online