The Belgica II has been launched
The future Belgian research vessel of the Federal Science Policy Office (Belspo) has been launched. In a few months' time, it will replace the RV Belgica after 35 years of service.
The launching ceremony from the Vigo shipyard (Spain) took place in the presence of the various partners in the project, namely the Ministry of Defence, the Federal Science Policy Office and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (IRSNB). Still in the process of completion, ensuring that it will have all the necessary equipment and materials, the ship should be fully operational before the end of 2020.
At 70 metres long, not only will it be more spacious but also more sophisticated, more environmentally friendly and quieter than its predecessor, the RV Belgica. Equipped with state-of-the-art scientific equipment, it will provide more space for scientists and research and will spend about 300 days a year criss-crossing the oceans.
Owned by the Belgian State, the new Belgica II will be at the service of the Federal Science Policy Office (Belspo) and it will be operationally managed by the IRSNB in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence.