The NIOZ-NMF fleetwas ageing and reached the end of its economic and technical lifespan. To facilitate continued marine research, the vessels were in urgent need for replacement. The fleet comprised of the ocean-going ship RV Pelagia, the coastal vessel RV Navicula, and the inland vessel RV Stern of which the last two are distinct for their operational capability in shallow water.
For this reason, in June 2018, investment plans for fleet replacement were submitted to the NWO executive board. These plans have been drawn up in consultation with all (prospective) users and stakeholders of the fleet on a national level. Mainly universities, scientific organizations as well as representatives of the maritime industries and the NIOZ organization.
Subsequently NWO-NIOZ established a Taskforce Fleet Replacement which has been tasked with the preparation of an outline specification. In this document all the pre-requisites, requirements and possible research modes have been specified. After approval, this documentation formed the main pillar to the concept design which has been drawn up for each vessel. Finally, the concept design documentation has been completed with a building specification. The entire documentation package has been, or is, in use for the tender process with prospective builders.
In the summer of 2022 RV Adriaen Coenen replaced RV Stern as the first new ship of the fleet. RV Wim Wolff, the replacement of RV Navicula is currently built by Thecla Bodewes Shipyard, and will be delivered early 2024. The construction of RV Anna Weber-van Bosse started in October 2023, at Armon Shipyards in Vigo. She will replace the RV Pelagia at the end of 2025.
Here you can find more background information, the Frequently Asked Questions here or the 2018 flyer (only in Dutch).
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