Artist's impression of the Future Research Vessel

Artist's impression of Investigator: The future Marine National Facility Research Vessel

Future Research Vessel

In May 2009 the Australian Government allocated $120 million for a new ocean-going research vessel to replace the current Marine National Facility Research Vessel, the 66-metre Southern Surveyor.

  • 5 May 2011 | Updated 21 September 2012

In this article

  1. The Future Research Vessel
  2. Future Research Vessel Project

The Future Research Vessel

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The new vessel is being designed, built and commissioned by CSIRO through the Future Research Vessel Project, an initiative of the Australian Government under the Super Science Initiative and financed from the Education Investment Fund. The process will take four years, with the vessel’s completion expected in 2013.

Want to keep up to date on the Future Research Vessel Project and what’s happening with RV Investigator? Go to the Investigator @ CSIRO blog and subscribe to get regular updates.

Following a rigorous procurement process undertaken by the CSIRO, Teekay Holdings Australia Pty Ltd was awarded the contract in January 2011 to design, build and commission the new vessel. The vessel is being designed by RALion (Robert Allan Ltd and Alion Science and Technology) from USA and Canada and is to be built by Sembawang Shipyard Pte Ltd in Singapore. As a condition of their approved Australian Industry Participation Plan, Teekay will ensure Australian suppliers and expertise are used where possible.

Given the name RV Investigator after a national naming competition, the 93.9-metre ship will be capable of spending 300 days a year at sea, supporting activities across a range of disciplines in oceanographic, climate, geological, fisheries and ecosystem research. Each voyage will be able to accommodate 40 scientists, and can go to sea for up to 60 days and cover 10 000 nautical miles.

CSIRO will own and manage the new vessel and its operation will be guided by an independent steering committee and funded by the Australian Government to support voyages by Australian scientists and their overseas collaborators.

Read current information on the Future Research Vessel Project at the Investigator@CSIRO blog [external link]