A new research vessel, featuring military and civilian integration, set sail Wednesday from east China's Shandong Province.
The vessel, Haimeng (sea dream), departed from Weihai City for its first trip to the South China Sea. Maritime resource research, ocean environment observation and oil and gas exploration will be among its major tasks.
Initiated by two military universities, the 35.8-meter-long and 14.6-meter-wide vessel was designed by the Weihai Blue Ocean Research Center Ltd., a company co-invested by the Nanhai New Area and private investors.
Nanhai New Area is a national strategic maritime economic zone in Weihai.
The ship is equipped with double engines, double propellers and double helms, with hybrid power of diesel and electricity, said Zhao Mingbo, general manager of the center.
A self-steering system is also installed, said Zhao.
Total cost of the vessel reached 50 million yuan (8 million U.S. dollars).
"The vessel will be a platform for maritime resource exploration and civilian and military integration," he said.