'Sonne' floats out

07 Apr 2014
Research ship takes to the water

Research ship takes to the water

Germany’s newest and most advanced ocean research ship, the €124 million 'Sonne' has been floated out at Meyer Werft in Papenburg for fitting and transfer in May to Emden for North Sea trials, reports Tom Todd.

For hand-over in January 2015, the impressive 116m long, 20.6m wide newbuilding emerged from yard’s giant covered building dock V after weeks of extensive tests on her safety, engine and equipment which rounded off a 14-month building period.

Sonne, which will replace a 44-year-old predecessor of the same name, will carry a crew of 35 and up to 40 scientists, mainly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Berlin Government is paying 90% of her cost. The rest is being borne by Germany’s five coastal states.

The newbuilding will draw 6.4m and be of 8,600gt. All that is being said for now about her propulsion is that it will comprise 4 x 1,620kW common rail Diesel gensets, two retractable 860kW rudder propellers and a 2,990kW pumpjet. Equipment will include a 30t A-frame, four jointed 10t jib cranes, three smaller cranes, a 12km winch, and she will boast a 700m² work deck and labs covering 550m² as well as an ROV.

Sonne is just part of a costly ongoing modernisation of the German research ship fleet which will also see other replacement newbuildings by the end of the decade. 

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