Royal Research Ship

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A Royal Research Ship (RRS) is a merchant navy vessel of the United Kingdom that conducts scientific research for Her Majesty's Government. Organisations include; the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). A warrant from the Queen is required before a ship can be designated as an RRS.[1]

In the 1950s and 1960s the Royal Research Ships of the day were owned by the Admiralty, partially managed by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), and run as ships of that fleet.

Recent history[edit]

The work of the two Royal Research Ships operated by the British Antarctic Survey is complemented by a Royal Navy icebreaker, currently HMS Protector, which provides science logistics support to the British Antarctic Survey.[2]

On the 25 April 2014 it was announced by UK government Chancellor George Osbourne that £200 million would be invested in the construction of a new polar research vehicle. The new icebreaker will be designed with a helipad, onboard labs and the capability to deploy subs; and should enter service in 2019.[3]

Current Royal Research Ships[edit]

All ships bear the prefix "RRS" - Royal Research Ship.

Ship Entered service Displacement Type Owner Operator Note
RRS James Clark Ross 1990 5,732 tonnes Research ship Natural Environment Research Council British Antarctic Survey [4]
RRS Ernest Shackleton 1995 4,028 tonnes Research ship Natural Environment Research Council British Antarctic Survey [5]
RRS James Cook 2007 5,800 tonnes Research ship Natural Environment Research Council National Marine Facilities Division, National Oceanography Centre [6]
RRS Discovery 2013 6,260 tonnes Research ship Natural Environment Research Council National Marine Facilities Division, National Oceanography Centre [7]

Notable former Royal Research Ships[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "£36m contract awarded for scientific research ship". NERC press release. 2004-07-02. 
  2. ^ "HMS Protector". Royal Navy (British Ministry of Defence). Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "George Osborne orders new icebreaker for UK polar science". BBC. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "RRS James Clark Ross - Research Ship". British Antarctic Survey (NERC). Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "RRS Ernest Shackleton - Research Ship". British Antarctic Survey (NERC). Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "RRS James Cook". National Oceanography Centre (NERC). Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "RRS Discovery". National Oceanography Centre (NERC). 

External links[edit]