SHANGHAI - China's first domestically built polar research vessel and icebreaker has been named Xuelong 2.
China's future icebreakers will also be named after Xuelong (Snow Dragon), Yang Huigen, head of the Polar Research Institute of China, said at a press conference held Tuesday in Shanghai.
Construction of the vessel started in December 2016, and it is expected to be put into use in 2019.
It will be 122.5 meters long and 22.3 meters wide, with a displacement of 13,990 tonnes and a navigation capability of 20,000 nautical miles. The vessel will be able to break polar ice with both its bow and stern.
Jointly designed by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Finland-based Aker Arctic Technology, it is being built by Jiangnan Shipyard (Group).
Xuelong is currently China's only polar icebreaker in service. It was bought from a Ukrainian company in 1993.