On Thursday August 16, in the ASMAR Talcahuano Shipyard, the construction of Chilean Navy's new polar ship has officially started. The ship is part of the Antarctic Project I, and will replace the current icebreaker "Oscar Viel", which is in its final stages.
The works for the new ship included renovation of part of its infrastructure and equipment, while it will have a gantry crane of 150 tons to increase the lifting capacity in the launching pad, and 230 ton carriage for the transport of blocks.
The ship will carry out logistic support activities for Antarctic operators, both domestic and foreign, performing tasks such as transporting people and materials, removing garbage and providing food and fuel. For this reason, the icebreaker will have a flight deck and hangar for 2 medium helicopters for personnel and cargo landing, two cranes to lift 20 tons at 20 meters range and a self-propelled boat to unload containers to land and transport personnel and equipment.
What is more, the ship will have modern hydroacoustic equipment to conduct studies of geological oceanography, plate movement, as well as hydroacoustic evaluation for biomass determination.
It will also be able to perform search and rescue operations in case of maritime, air or land accidents, complying with the obligations of Chile in the area of SAR responsibility. To facilitate these operations the vessel will the ability to tow ships as well as space to transport 18 people rescued from wrecks or accidents, and a hospital for medical and dental consultations.