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It’s Chilean: The First Icebreaker Ship Built in South America

Chile continues to position itself as a key player in maritime security, national and international research, and cooperation in search and rescue operations in the polar region.

Publicada: Wednesday 10 de July del 2024
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On Wednesday, July 3, the delivery ceremony of the icebreaker ship Almirante Viel was held, attended by President Gabriel Boric, along with the Minister of National Defense, Maya Fernández, and the Minister of Science, Aisén Etcheverry.

This is the first icebreaker ship built in South America, which will play a crucial role in safeguarding Antarctic sovereign rights.

In this way, Chile continues to position itself as a key player in maritime security, national and international research, and cooperation in search and rescue operations in the polar region.

Features of the Icebreaker Ship Almirante Viel

The icebreaker AGB 46 Almirante Viel is a PC5 polar-type vessel that will be part of the “Antarctic trio” alongside the patrol ship Marinero Fuentealba and the tugboat Lientur. The Almirante Viel is the first icebreaker built in South America.

It will replace the old AP 46 icebreaker, also called Almirante Viel, which was built in 1969 and served for 24 years, until February 2019. Its home port will be in Punta Arenas.

It has the capacity to transport 120 people (86 crew members and 34 scientists) and an autonomy of 60 days.

It reaches a speed of 15 knots (almost 30 km/h) and 3 knots over 1 meter of ice (about 6 km/h).
This ship can transport two HH-32 helicopters in its hangar, operate at -30°C, and navigate 650 km further south than the previous icebreaker.

Additionally, it has reinforced hulls that allow it to navigate Arctic waters year-round.

The icebreaker Almirante Viel meets the highest international environmental standards and regulations: Madrid Protocol and Antarctic Treaty, regarding water treatment, gas emissions, and waste treatment.

Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, regarding its role as an inspector ship with suitable personnel for fisheries inspection in the area, contributing to the delicate Antarctic ecosystem.

Source: Gob.cl

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