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China Builds Mother Ship for Deep-Submergence Vehicle

© Flickr / Riccardo CuppiniSubmarine
Submarine - Sputnik International
China laid the keel on Saturday of the mother vessel for an 11,000-meter manned submersible as part of the country's deep-sea research program, local media reports said.

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The ship, "Zhang Jian", named after the founder of Shanghai Ocean University, is 97 meters long and 17.8 meters wide. It has a designed displacement of around 4,800 tons and 15,000-nautical mile endurance ability, Xinhua news agency reported.

Designed to carry 60 people, the ship will boast advanced laboratories, data processing and information centers and other devices.

The "Zhang Jian" will serve as a mother ship to the manned submersible "Rainbow Fish" which is capable of diving to a depth of 11,000 meters, and will be used in general ocean expedition missions, deep-sea engineering, rescue and salvage, underwater archaeology and film shooting, said Cui Weicheng, head of the Hadal Research Center at Shanghai Ocean University.

The vessel is scheduled to float in June 2016. Chinese scientists will launch unmanned diving expeditions in the deepest area of the Pacific's Mariana Trench in 2016, and manned diving in this area in 2019, with the Rainbow Fish submersible and other deep-sea devices, the agency said.

China's manned submersible “Jiaolong” reached its deepest depth of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in June 2012.

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