A WORLD-CLASS scientific research ship is celebrating a 100th anniversary and become the first vessel of its kind to be refitted at Babcock in Rosyth.

The RRS Discovery is the first UK Royal Research Ship to dock at the port as part of the Government’s £45 million award to maintain its flagship scientific research vessels.

It will then join its predecessor in Dundee, which is marking its centenary as a designated Royal Research Ship (RRS), in Dundee in June.

During her ten years on the sea, the current RRS Discovery has travelled 227 554.21 nautical miles, taking part in 56 expeditions, and partnered with multiple organisations worldwide, exploring a diverse range of science topics to help better understand our oceans.

Dunfermline Press: The RRS DIscovery arriving in Rosyth to undergo a refit at Babcock..The RRS DIscovery arriving in Rosyth to undergo a refit at Babcock.. (Image: Brian Donovan)

To help continue to support the world-leading science undertaken by the RRS Discovery, Babcock’s International Rosyth shipyard was recently awarded £45 million by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to maintain its fleet of scientific research vessels – including the RRS Discovery, RRS James Cook, and RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Jon Short, Senior Project Manager at the National Oceanography Centre, said: "The RRS Discovery is not only one of the most famous research ships in the world, but she is also among the most technologically advanced of her kind.

"She has provided scientists around the globe the ability to understand the ocean in a way that the scientists of the original RRS Discovery could only dream of.

"The refit in Scotland will ensure that she is ready to take on future expeditions, often in treacherous seas in order to help us further understand the mysteries of the oceans."

The funding was granted to ensure that the UK’s research capabilities can continue to lead the way in polar and ocean research.

The three vessels are involved in some of the most demanding research across the globe, visiting polar regions and exploring the depths of tropical oceans.

Dunfermline Press: Over the last 10 years, RRS Discovery has taken part in 56 expeditions.Over the last 10 years, RRS Discovery has taken part in 56 expeditions. (Image: Brian Donovan)

During its refit, RRS Discovery will be in dry dock to allow the maintenance team access to clean the hull and propulsion equipment, which will help to lower fuel usage and increase overall speed making her more efficient for future expeditions.

Safety checks will also be conducted by a Lloyds of London surveyor to ensure the vessel is safe to operate for another year.

RRS Discovery will then undertake her post refit trial expedition to the North Atlantic over the course of 19 days.

Sean Donaldson, Managing Director, Marine Engineering and Systems at Babcock, added: "Babcock is delighted to welcome the RRS Discovery to Rosyth. Our team is proud to play a part in readying her for her global operations during this notable anniversary.

"We look forward to supporting the UK’s fleet of scientific research vessels during their maintenance periods."

The RRS James Cook, also operated by NOC, and the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which is operated by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), are both scheduled for upcoming refits in Scotland.