China launches icebreaking vessel partly designed by Finnish company

China has launched its first home-made icebreaking vessel that is partly designed by a Finnish engineering company.

Photo: Aker Arctic Technology Inc

China is ready to break the Arctic ice with a new icebreaking vessel called Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon II, launched on 10 September, according to South China Morning Post.

The vessel is designed together with Finnish engineering company Aker Arctic Technology and  China State Shipbuilding Corporation institute.

Xuelong 2 is built for exploration and scientific surveys. The vessel is the world’s only polar research boat vessel that can break ice while going forwards or backwards, since it has powerful propellers on both prow and rear.

It is a significant upgrade on the original Xuelong, which was bought from Ukraine in 1994 and upgraded in 2013.

Aker Arctic Technology offers ship model testing and various design, engineering and consulting services related to icebreakers. Aker Arctic and its predecessors have designed more than half of the world’s icebreakers.

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