China's first home-built polar research vessel and ice breaker has been named Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, according to a report of Science and Technology Daily on Tuesday.
The construction of the ship, jointly designed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Finland-based Aker Arctic Technology, was launched by Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) in December.
The new vessel will be 122.5 meters long and be able to break through 1.5-meter thick ice at a maximum speed of 3 knots, said the Polar Research Institute of China.
Xuelong 2 is scheduled to be completed in 2019, when it will team up with the country's currently only icebreaker Xuelong to form a polar research fleet, conducting scientific research missions and supplying resources to polar regions.
Xuelong, the country's first icebreaker, was built in Ukraine and put into service in 1994.
China first sent an expedition team to the Antarctic in 1984. Since then, the country has established four scientific research stations in the Antarctic.