Integrated technology for research vessels in the spotlight as ‘RRS Sir David Attenborough’ officially named

Source: press release, 30 September 2019

Royal Ceremonial Naming of ‘RRS Sir David Attenborough’ – Sir David Attenborough and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the event on Thursday – pictured with Kongsberg Maritime systems on the bridge (photo: British Antarctic Survey)
Royal Ceremonial Naming of ‘RRS Sir David Attenborough’ – Sir David Attenborough and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the event on Thursday – pictured with Kongsberg Maritime systems on the bridge (photo: British Antarctic Survey)

One of the world’s most advanced polar research vessels, RRS Sir David Attenborough, has been officially named at a special naming ceremony held at Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead, UK, shipyard on Thursday, 26 September 2019. The milestone event, attracting over 600 invited guests and more than 4,000 members of the public, represented the centrepiece in a 3-day celebration of British science, shipbuilding and engineering, which also included schools and family days.

KONGSBERG’s integrated systems are central to the vessel’s position as one of the most advanced research vessels ever built. Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council and constructed by Cammell Laird for operation with British Antarctic Survey, the RRS Sir David Attenborough is designed to carry out intensive, multi-disciplinary missions of scientific significance, with minimal impact on the ocean environment it will be used to study.

“KONGSBERG has supported development of the RRS Sir David Attenborough from the very early days, helping us to realise our vision for such a unique and pioneering ship. Our missions will take us to the most remote areas with the most extreme conditions, but we are confident that the technology onboard will enable safe navigation and control, as well as capture of the data our scientists need to address the environmental challenges that we all face today, and in the future,” says Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of British Antarctic Survey.

Thanks to sophisticated, green, cost-effective solutions including an energy management system, cutting-edge sensors and remotely operated robotic technologies which all come under Kongsberg Maritime’s ‘Full Picture’ scope of delivery, the RRS Sir David Attenborough’s design focuses on fuel and logistical efficiency, and is expected to save in excess of GBP 100 million in operating expenditure over the course of its 30-year lifespan.

“Knowing the importance of deep-ocean and under-ice research, it’s an honour to be trusted with enabling safe and efficient marine operations on the RRS Sir David Attenborough, as well as providing the platform for the data capture and analysis that will engender new scientific insight. We wish all those working onboard every success and anticipate some amazing findings as the ship embarks on the first of its long research voyages,” says Egil Haugsdal, President, Kongsberg Maritime.