The Pourquoi Pas ? was launched in 2005. The propulsion system is designed to eliminate underwater radiated noise whilst operating at certain speeds. The two Fixed Pitch Propellers are driven by four Wärtsilä 8L20 double elastically mounted generating sets producing 5,8 MW.
The Pourquoi pas? is capable of conducting hydrographic (deep or coastal waters), geo-scientific, and physical/ chemical/ biological oceanographic missions, and can also deploy the institute's scientific equipment. The ship is co-financed by IFREMER (Institus Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER) and the French Navy.