Royal Research Ship

A Royal Research Ship (RRS) is a merchant navy vessel of the United Kingdom that conducts scientific research for Her Majesty's Government. Organisations operating such ships include; the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). A warrant from the Queen is required before a ship can be designated as an RRS.[1]

Relationship with the Royal NavyEdit

In the 1950s and 1960s the Royal Research Ships of the day were owned by the Admiralty, partially managed by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), and run as ships of that fleet.

The work of the two Royal Research Ships operated by the British Antarctic Survey is complemented by a Royal Navy icebreaker, currently HMS Protector, which provides science logistics support to the British Antarctic Survey.[2]

Current Royal Research ShipsEdit

All ships bear the prefix "RRS" - Royal Research Ship.

Ship Entered service Displacement Type Owner Operator
RRS Sir David Attenborough 2021 15,000 tonnes[3] Research ship Natural Environment Research Council British Antarctic Survey
RRS James Cook 2007 5,800 tonnes[4] National Marine Facilities Division
National Oceanography Centre
RRS Discovery 2013 6,260 tonnes[5]

Notable former Royal Research ShipsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "£36m contract awarded for scientific research ship". NERC press release. 2 July 2004. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "HMS Protector". Royal Navy (British Ministry of Defence). Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  3. ^ "RRS Sir David Attenborough". British Antarctic Survey (NERC). Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  4. ^ "RRS James Cook". National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  5. ^ "RRS Discovery". National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Retrieved 15 June 2021.

External linksEdit