With an investment of over $200 million, the ANTARTICA I icebreaker to be built in Chile will be the first of its type to be constructed in Latin America. Intended to replace the Chilean Navy’s ALIMIRANTE VIEL, the vessel formally began its gestation with ceremonial cutting of the first steel plate in the presence of Chile’s President, Michelle Bacehelt, at the Talcahuano facilities of shipbuilder Astilleros y Maestranzas de la Armada (ASMAR), on 9 May.

Based on a Vard Marine design, the 10,400t vessel is intended to provide a flexible capability for logistics support, search and rescue, resupply and scientific investigation missions. Designed for operations at down to -30°C and a maximum speed of 15kt, the 111m vessel will have a range of 14,000nm and an endurance of 60 days. Propelled by two 4,500kW and two 1,865kW engines and a 500kW emergency generator, ANTARTICA I will have storage capacity for 2,203m3 of fuel oil, 153m3 of fresh water, 1,885m3 of ballast water and 86m3 of aviation fuel. A flight deck will support a medium helicopter and the ship’s complement will consist of 76 crew and 44 scientists.

Tim Mahon


Cutting of the first steel for ANTARTICA I at ASMAR on 9 May. (Photo: Chilean Navy)

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