Repulse wrote:15 is too few for a RRS Sir David Attenborough type ship (28 crew), closer to a SD Victoria / SD Northern River type ship.
Indeed, and looking further into what was happening in the OSV (construction) market in the decade that abruptly ended with Covid, traditional OSVs were finally leaving fleets after 30 -45 years of service, and smaller numbers of more advanced vessels were needed as offshore drilling and production shifts to increasingly deeper water.With the offshore standstill OSV fleets are oversupplied, but a lot of construction (and design, ehhm: Rolls Royce) capacity continues to exist.
Deepwater-capable vessel designs have pioneered i.a. significant automation, flexibility of use, and redundant dynamic positioning systems.
For the deep sea cable operation/repair tech does exist, but I would expect a lot of Red Stamps on the spec of the kit that will be designed for/ fitted in these future vessels.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)