In March 2016 the head of the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations (FASO of Russia) Mikhail Mikhailovich Kotyukov signed a Provision to set up an Ocean Expedition Center (OEC). OEC was formed under P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of RAS. OEC has under its operative control research vessels of unrestricted navigation having an ice class.
OEC comprises the Atlantic fleet base (AFB) in Kaliningrad and the Pacific fleet base (PFB) in Vladivostok which must become the largest bases of the research fleet in Russia. As of February 2017 AFB has under its operative control the research vessels (RV): Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Akademik Ioffe, Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, Akademik Nikolaj Strakhov, Professor Shtokman. In accordance with the decision of FASO the AFB fleet will be supplemented by RV Akademik Boris Petrov, after returning from an integrated scientific expedition in the Indian ocean. In the nearest time the following RV will transfer to PFB from the Department of Research Fleet of the RAS Far East section: Akademik Oparin, Akademik M.A.Lavrentyev, Professor Bogorov, Professor Gagarinskiy.
The main objective of OEC is to ensure full completion of the state assignment by FASO in the sphere of marine research.
OEC provides research vessels to all scientific organizations of FASO of Russia to conduct various marine works. OEC ensures maximum efficient loading of its research vessels, equips them with modern scientific equipment, organizes preparation of integrated scientific expeditions, scientific survey works, floating universities, expeditions for search of submersed objects, including especially hazardous objects in the seas of Russia, monitoring of ecological state of the seas of Russia in the areas of intensive economic activities. OEC is responsible for repair, proper maintenance, operation, and safety of the research fleet, qualification of crew members, transport and procurement servicing of vessels. In the long run OEC will be supplemented with other two fleet bases, Black sea and Arctic ones.