RV Sonne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
RV Sonne
Sonne as ARA Austral
NameRV Sonne
OperatorRF Forschungsschiffahrt GmbH
Port of registryGermany Bremen, Germany
RoutePacific Ocean, Indian Ocean
BuilderRickmers Werft, Bremerhaven, Germany
Laid downAugust 1968
Out of serviceAugust 2014
Renamed25 June 2015, to ARA Austral
FateSold to Argentina
OperatorArgentine Navy
Cost$54,192,935 ARS, €5,150,000
Acquired12 December 2014
In service7 November 2015
StatusActive as of 2018
General characteristics
Class and typeResearch vessel
Displacement4,952 Tonnes
Length97.61 m (320 ft 3 in)
Beam14.20 m (46 ft 7 in)
Draught6.80 m (22 ft 4 in)
Installed power
  • 2 × 1,150 kW electrical engines
  • 3 × 1,600 kW diesel-generator
PropulsionMaK 8 M 282 Diesel-electrical system
Speed12.0 knots (22.2 km/h)
Crew25 + 25 scientists

The RV Sonne (German for 'Sun') is a former German fishing trawler converted into a research vessel by Schichau Unterweser AG, doing mostly geoscience-related work for a variety of commercial and scientific clients. She was registered in Bremen.[1] In 2015 she was sold to the Argentine institute CONICET and was renamed ARA Austral (Q-21).[2][3] A new geoscientific research ship, also called RV Sonne, replaced her role in Germany that same year.[4]


Rickmers Werft built Sonne in 1969 as a stern trawler and delivered her to Hochseefischerei Nordstern. From her homeport of Bremerhaven she operated mainly in the waters around Iceland, Greenland and Labrador.

Sonne was converted for use in a scientific exploration role by Schichau Unterweser AG in 1977 and by Rickmers Werft in 1978. In 1991 Schichau-Seebeck-Werft lengthened and modernized her.[1]

RV Sonne in Auckland, 2007

An order worth 124.4 million for a new geoscientific research ship was placed by the German federal ministry for education and research (90%) together with the coastal states Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Bremen and Hamburg (10%) in May 2011. The new ship, also called Sonne, was built in Meyer Werft in Papenburg, and replaced the old Sonne in 2015.[4] Its launch took place on 5 April 2014.[5]

The last German cruise of RV Sonne took place in August 2014, after which she was retired from German scientific use.[citation needed]

Argentine service[edit]

She was sold to the Argentinian institute CONICET for € 5.150.000 and she arrived in the Argentine Navy naval base at Mar del Plata in February 2015. In June she was renamed ARA Austral (Q-21). Austral is operated by a naval crew, on behalf of the civilian agency CONICET.[2][3]

In popular culture[edit]

Sonne appears in Frank Schätzing's novel The Swarm in connection with methane measurements off the Norwegian coast.[6]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "RV Sonne - datasheet in English language" (PDF, 1.6 MB). www.rf-bremen.com. RF Forschungsschiffahrt GmbH. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b Periodico Tribuna - El Gobierno compró buque nuevo (y miles de litros de alcohol para celebrar)
  3. ^ a b Telam - La Presidenta encabezó la presentación del buque de investigación ARA Austral
  4. ^ a b Nestler, Ralf (31 May 2011). "Sonnenaufgang für die Meeresforscher" [Sunrise for marine researchers]. www.tagesspiegel.de (in German). Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Das neue Forschungsschiff "Sonne" verlässt das Baudock I der MEYER WERFT". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  6. ^ Frank Schätzing. The Swarm. p. Chapter "April 22nd".


External links[edit]