RRS James Clark Ross (JCR), launched by HM the Queen in 1990, is primarily a marine research vessel for biological, oceanographic and geophysical cruises. It is equipped with a suite of laboratories and winch systems that allows scientific equipment to be deployed astern or amidships. The ship has an extremely low noise signature, allowing the deployment of sensitive acoustic equipment. A swath bathymetry system was fitted in 2000. The JCR also carries out some cargo and logistical work. During the northern summer the JCR supports NERC research, largely in the Arctic. RRS James Clark Ross (named after Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, R.N.) was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders, Wallsend, UK. The vessel can steam at a steady two knots through level sea ice one metre thick. To assist passage through heavy pack ice a compressed air system rolls the ship from side to side freeing the passage.