September 4, 2003

Tenix to build research vessel
Australian adventurer and businessman Dick Smith has chosen Australian-owned Tenix Defence to build his 31.4 meter multi-purpose research vessel.

The vessel, to be designed and constructed at Tenix’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia, will feature an aluminum superstructure and steel hull and have a range of 3,000 nautical miles.

It will be fitted with a portable laboratory and helicopter pad, to be used for research purposes as part of Smith’s ongoing work with the Australian Geographic Society.

The vessel will be utilized by scientific institutions for research into environmental concerns such as coral bleaching and the implications of environment change around the Pacific region and sub-Antarctic islands.

Tenix Defence CEO Robert Salteri said today that although costing almost Australian $6 million, the vessel would be more a utility expedition vessel than a luxury yacht.

"It is not your gold taps sort of yacht. It is designed for functionality, and you won’t have to take your shoes off," he said.

"A key for Dick Smith in choosing Tenix to build the vessel was the company’s success in building commercial vessels and fishing trawlers, as well as search and rescue vessels and patrol boats.

"Tenix has won a high reputation for manufacture of naval, paramilitary and specialist vessels and its expertise in design and integration of naval systems, sensors and communications. It is also building a presence within the global luxury yacht market," Salteri said.

A successful model test has been held at the Australian Marine Centre in Hobart. The vessel is scheduled for delivery in June 2004.

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