The heavy icebreaker was designed for the Australian Government to resupply their Antarctic bases and for research and scientific work. The vessel can deploy a wide range of vehicles, including helicopters, landing barges and amphibious trucks to support the resupply operations. The new ship provides a modern platform for marine science research in both sea ice and open water with a large moon pool for launching and retrieving sampling equipment and remotely operated vehicles.
Unique to the vessel is a hybrid propulsion system to provide both the high power needed for icebreaking and silent running for science operations. Sensitive acoustic instruments are mounted on dual drop keels and multi-beam bathymetric sonars will enable sea floor mapping. Flexible and modular science laboratories will provide scientists the diverse facilities needed for conducting cutting edge research.