New icebreaker contract signed

A graphic of the new icebreaker in the ice
A graphic of the new icebreaker in the ice (Image: Damen/DMS Maritime/Knud E Hansen A/S)

The Australian Government has signed a contract for Australia’s new icebreaker with the Australian company DMS Maritime Pty Ltd. The company will be responsible for both the overall design and build of the ship, and the operation and maintenance of the ship over its expected 30 year life. The ship will be built in Romania and is due to arrive at its home port of Hobart in mid-2020.

This next-generation successor to the Aurora Australis will provide a step-change in Australia’s Antarctic capabilities and is uniquely tailored to meet the Australian Antarctic program’s needs. It will have:

  • greater icebreaking and cargo capacity;
  • increased endurance and operational flexibility;
  • a high standard of environmental performance; and
  • state-of-the-art research, rescue and resupply capabilities.

To celebrate the central role of the icebreaker for the Australian Antarctic program and the significance of Australia's connection to Antarctica, the Australian Government will seek public input on the naming of the vessel through a competition.