Icebreaker Snow Dragon

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Icebreaker Snow Dragon

Xiangyanghong 10 was China's first Antarctic exploration vessel. Built by China primarily for general oceanic investigation, it was used for only one expedition -- to build the Great Wall Station -- because it was not constructed to sail in Antarctic conditions. It is now called Yuanwang 4 and is used to receive satellite signals.

China purchased its first ice going vessel, Jidi, from Finland. A supply, transport vessel it could navigate a field of floating ice but was not an icebreaker. Jidi was decommissioned after six years in service.

Xuelong, or Snow Dragon (Chinese: 雪龙) is China's first icebreaker and was built in Ukraine in 1993. China spent 31 million yuan (US$3.7 million) to convert it into a transport ship for Antarctic expeditions. It replaced Jidi in 1994 and has remained in service ever since.

Xuelong is the re-supply vessel and the scientific research platform of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic research expeditions. It is well equipped with all the advanced systems of self-contained navigation and weather observation which is essential in polar voyages and research expeditions.

There are a data processing center, seven laboratories with a total area of 200 square meters and basic operating equipment on board the vessel. It is also provided with three operating boats and a helicopter for transportation and research purposes in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

The vessel's dimensions are:

long 167M

beam 22.6M

draft 9M

displacement 21250T

cruising radius 12000 NM

speed 17.9 knots

berths 128