HHIC launches ARAON, the first Korean-made icebreaking research vessel

- Hanjin Heavy Industries and construction completes Korea's first icebreaker
- Ready to launch, explore and research the polar regions, the treasure house in the new millennium

The ARAON, the first Korean-made icebreaking research vessel which will explore and research the pole, set sail from the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Yeongdo shipyard in Busan on June 11, 2009.

The ARAON launching ceremony was held with the attendance of the ship’s captain, crew and officials from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Korea Polar Research Institute and HHIC.

ARAON, which symbolizes a ship sailing across the world’s oceans, is a research vessel which has a weight of 6,950 tons, length of 110 meters and breadth of 19 meters with a cruising speed of up to 16 knots (30km/h). This icebreaker, with 23 crew members and 60 researchers on board, is equipped with nearly 60 different types of state-of-the-art research equipment and a helicopter. This state-of-the-art vessel is capable of breaking 1 meter of ice at 3 knots and sailing almost 20,000 nautical miles for 70 days with just one fuel supply.

Even though the pole is a very lucrative region, there have been many restrictions for our nation to promote exploration and research activities because of the lack of an icebreaking vessel.

With the launch of the Korean-made ARAON, the research activities and construction of polar research base will be facilitated. Above all, since Korea will now be able to conquer future marine territory and carry out an in-depth research on the development of polar resources with new and modern infrastructure in the polar regions, it is expected that Korea’s status in polar research will be greatly improved.

In January 2007, HHIC was nominated as a manufacturer of Korea’s first icebreaking vessel. The company has proven again its excellence in shipbuilding with the successful completion of the high tech icebreaking research vessel, with an increased value.

An official from HHIC said, “Even though Korea has the world’s best shipbuilding technology, the country has never designed or built an icebreaking vessel before.” He added, “The successful completion of Korea’s first icebreaking research vessel will enhance Korea’s reputation as the world’s leading shipbuilding nation and expand its value in the market.”

ARAON, which has been developed with an investment of KRW 103 billion, will be delivered in late September of this year. After the sailing trial, the vessel will set sail for exploration, research and supply activities in the pole beginning in 2010. 

※ At present, a total of 20 countries have a research base in the pole. Among them, 18 countries own an icebreaking research vessel.

■ Photo: A launching of the icebreaker

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