Chilean Navy and ASMAR launch new icebreaker
The Chilean Navy is progressing with its plans to operate a new icebreaker in 2024. During a ceremony in the Talcahuano Naval Base (Concepción region) on 22 December, the service launched the Almirante Viel vessel.
Designed by the Canadian company VARD Marine and built by the national shipyard ASMAR, the icebreaker will cover a paramount role by supporting Chile’s bases in Antarctic.
Capable of operating at -30°C, the ship can break up to 1 m thick layer of ice and will be equipped with microbiological, macrobiological and chemical laboratories.
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With a length of 111 m, a beam of 21 m, a draught of 7.2 meters and a displacement of 10,500 tonnes, Almirante Viel has been built under the Antártica-I programme.
A press release issued by the Chilean MoD stated that the vessel is ‘the most complex project’ conducted to date by ASMAR.
Shephard Defence Insight notes that the new vessel will replace the icebreaker also named Almirante Viel, which was decommissioned in 2019.
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