The RRS James Clark Ross has been sold to the Ukrainian National Antarctic Scientific Centre.

The vessel will be replaced by the RSS David Attenborough, one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world.

This is the second time that a UK research asset has transferred to Ukrainian research colleagues – the first being the transfer in 1996 of the former Faraday station that is now known as Vernadsky.

In a news release, the British Antarctic Survey say:

“For the past three decades the JCR has fulfilled her role as a world-leading research platform for biological, oceanographic and geophysical research. She contains some of Britain’s most advanced facilities for oceanographic research in both Antarctica and the Arctic. Built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders in Wallsend, UK, and launched by HM the Queen in 1990 the RRS James Clark Ross was part of the first international, multi-vessel survey to estimate the biomass of krill in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean – a figure still used today in krill management models.  

The ship is also a platform for deploying ambitious sediment coring technologies in previously unstudied locations, pushing coring technologies to its limits. Ground-breaking work in the Arctic provided insights into the scale and impacts of climate change in one of the most rapidly changing environments on the planet. The ice-capable ship is a new asset for Ukraine and opens up new research opportunities for its National Antarctic Scientific Centre, in particular research into oceans and climate change in the polar regions. The purchase of the ship comes ahead of the COP26 Conference in November, where representatives from every signatory party for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) come together to discuss climate change action.”

Director of British Antarctic Survey Professor Dame Jane Francis FRS said,

“The RRS James Clark Ross is much admired by all who have sailed in her.  She has enabled scientists from the UK and overseas to make discoveries that help make sense of our changing world.  We will miss her greatly, but I am delighted that our research colleagues will use her to carry out important scientific investigations. We wish them well.”

Director of the National Antarctic Center of Ukraine Dr. Evgen Dykyi said:

“For Ukraine, the purchase of the RRS James Clark Ross opens a world of opportunities. For the last 20 years, Ukraine hasn’t had a vessel for Antarctic research, significantly impeding our work there. For us, the icebreaker “James Clark Ross” has a symbolic value as well, as it brought the first Ukrainian mission to the former British station “Faraday” (at present “Vernadsky”)” in 1996. With this vessel, Ukraine has ambition on large-scale research in the Southern Ocean and possibly starting surveys in the Arctic in time.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
23 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Goldilocks
Goldilocks
2 months ago

We seem very hard at work building up the Ukranian Navy. For instance, were building a class of missile boats, giving them two minehunters and a now a scientific research ship. Good stuff, especially in the face of Russian aggresion in the Black Sea and Azov

James Fennell
James Fennell
2 months ago

The Faraday/Vernadsky station was formerly run by BAS and we gave it to Ukraine to enable them to continue to have a presence after the Soviet Union broke up and the Russian Federation claimed all the former USSR bases, so it makes some strategic sense that we continue to help Ukraine support the base. Also helps cement the growing wider relationship.

IwanR
IwanR
2 months ago

Why does Ukraine need an ice breaking research ship? Just checked the map, and they really don’t have access to Arctic waters. Quickest way will be from the Russian canal system.

Since they mentioned the Southern Ocean, are they going to make a claim derived from Soviet claiming rights?

Andy P
Andy P
2 months ago
Reply to  IwanR

Why does the UK have ice breakers when we don’t have frozen seas ?? What’s wrong with Ukraine doing research in the cold bits same as a lot of other countries.

IwanR
IwanR
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Nothing wrong really. Just odd, since I’ve never heard of them doing things at the poles.

The UK actually has claims in Antarctica and also easy access to Arctic waters. The Japanese use their icebreaker specifically for it’s Antarctic claims.

Andy P
Andy P
2 months ago
Reply to  IwanR

The Ukrainians now have an ‘Ice Station Zebra’ so maybe need the icebreaker. Having ice breakers maybe helped us get the Antarctic bases too. I wasn’t aware of any of this until reading the article but what’s good for the goose and all that.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Sure the Falklands is close to a snow cap or 2 and we have Research Vessels not Ice Breakers.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

Meh, the Brit blurb called it “ice capable” while the Ukrainian blurb called it an “ice breaker”. Its also a research vessel.

As for the Falklands ?????? The Ukrainians have their own ‘Ice Station Zebra’ which would be justification enough (if it was needed) same as a load of other countries.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
2 months ago
Reply to  IwanR

Britain sold them one of our old bases (Cheaper than dismantling it) they maintain a staff of about a dozen there.

IwanR
IwanR
2 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I see. The purchase makes sense then.

I take it it’s the Vernadsky mentioned in the article?

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago
Reply to  IwanR

Its a substantial hull in the here and now. Speed in building the Ukrainian fleet numbers is important. It could launch UUVs.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  IwanR

You did read the article? Ukraine has an Antarctic research station, ironically an ex British one. Purchase of an Ice Breaker from the UK reduces the logistic challenges of supporting their base at the South Pole.

Marked
Marked
2 months ago

Surely there are more pressing concerns for the Ukraine that need prioritised. Like improving land forces since mad vlad is only a stones throw away over the border.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  Marked

‘mad vlad’ – love it! :-).

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
2 months ago

For clarification, the ship is being transferred to the national research centre not the navy. To help them operate the ex British Antarctic survey base faraday, it was gifted to Ukraine in 1996. It will also allow them to conduct research in the polar regions.

Karl
Karl
2 months ago

Flippin heck we sold something and didn’t give it away?

Graham Haxell
Graham Haxell
2 months ago

I thought the UK needed every thing that floats to patrol their own 12 mile limit?

Tams
Tams
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Haxell

It’s a research ship, you plonker.

Graham Haxell
Graham Haxell
2 months ago
Reply to  Tams

No kidding Sherlock. It’s still capable of fisheries protection duties.

Harry
Harry
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Haxell

So is a cruise liner so let’s use those instead…

Johan
Johan
1 month ago

What i find strange is that Ukraine has fed the Chinese Military with design tech and designs for years.

But Now wants Nato to hold its Purse.

You Break it You fix your own shit springs to mind.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

Ukraine has really dodgy dealings even internally, a flourishing fascist movement for one. Not worth the risk imo.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

Umm but they’re not running the country like somewhere I could think of.