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Chile sails ahead with construction of new naval transport vessel

1st June 2023 - 16:00 GMT | by Wilder Alejandro Sanchez in Washington DC

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A rendering of the design for the Escotillón IV support ships under construction by ASMAR. (Image: Vard Marine)

Chile's ASMAR shipyard has achieved a milestone in the construction of the first of four transport and support vessels for the country's navy.

Chilean state-run shipyard ASMAR announced on 25 May the placement of the first block on the launching slipway of a new multipurpose vessel. The ship is part of the Escotillón IV project, under which ASMAR will build a fleet of transport vessels for the Chilean Navy.

The first platform, currently unnamed, will have a length of 110m and will displace 7.987t, with a crew of 95; it is under construction at ASMAR’s Talcahuano facilities. 

The vessel will replace the Aquiles, also built by ASMAR and operated by the Navy since 1988. Construction of the ship commenced in February 2022 with the cutting of the first steel, Shephard reported at the time.

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Two ships will be constructed during the first phase of Escotillón IV, and four are expected to be built in total. The ships will be utilised for transport operations, including humanitarian assistance/disaster response, logistical support, and amphibious landing by Chilean marines.

The ASMAR yard’s other major ongoing project is the construction of an icebreaker. In a 21 May interview with the Chilean daily El Mercurio, Adm Juan Andrés de la Maza, the navy’s commander, noted that by the time his term at the helm is over, ‘I want to leave in place a plan for submarines, which are the most expensive [platforms] in Latin America. The idea is to leave my successor a renewal [plan], and why not, maybe another plan for the construction of combat units.’ 

Chilean Navy officers have previously publicly commented on their interest in domestically manufacturing frigates.

Wilder Alejandro Sanchez

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Wilder Alejandro Sanchez


Wilder Alejandro Sánchez is an analyst who covers defense & security, geopolitical, and trade issues …

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