Taiwan to launch new ocean research fleet

The fleet will have four new, domestically built ships, with three to be launched in 2020

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New Ocean Researcher 1 (CNA photo)
Oceanographic research vessel Legend (CNA photo)

New Ocean Researcher 1 (CNA photo)

Oceanographic research vessel Legend (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A new fleet of oceanographic research vessels is expected to be launched in the first half of 2020, a boost to Taiwan’s ocean current research and homeland security protection.

The fleet will comprise four ships, three of which are to be delivered by early next year, including two 500-ton vessels and one 1,000-ton vessel. The new ships are domestically developed and manufactured through a collaboration between academia and industry, sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology in an NT$1.6 billion project, reported CNA.

While the existing 2,000-ton vessel, “Legend” (勵進號), is operated by the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs), the new ships will be managed by National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Ocean University, and National Sun Yat-sen University.

Legend is tasked with national-level research missions, and the other ships will be fitted with equipment that reflects the needs of the academic institutes, said the report. A commission will be established to help coordinate operations and resources for the fleet.

The vessel managed by NTU, for example, will conduct missions that encompass oceanography, atmospheric sciences, biology, geology, physics, and chemistry, CNA cited Jan Sen (詹森), director of Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, as saying.