China to launch new icebreaker in 2014

Updated: 2011-11-02 17:22

By Hou Lei (

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China's new icebreaker is set to be launched in 2014 and will conduct scientific marine research tasks, Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.

"The new one will work together with Xuelong (Snow Dragon), China's only icebreaker used in polar expedition, to form an Arctic-Antarctic maritime research team," Li Yuansheng, head of China's 28th Antarctic exploration team told Xinhua.

Li said Xuelong will focus on the transportation of goods and facilities for exploration while the new icebreaker will help clear the route ahead.

Li told Xinhua that Xuelong's icebreaking ability is insufficient and is not fitted with the Dynamic Positioning System and Evacuation System while the new ship can also carry more scientific equipment.

Construction of the new icebreaker is expected to be completed in 2013 and will be jointly designed by Chinese and overseas firms. It will have a displacement of 8,000 tons and range of 20,000 nautical miles.