Chilean shipyard launches new icebreaker Almirante Viel

According to information published by Infodefensa on December 16, 2022, the shipyard Asmar has launched the new icebreaker, Almirante Viel, for the Chilean Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Icebreaker Almirante Viel. (Picture source: Asmar)

The Chilean Navy awarded a contract to Asmar in March 2015 for the conceptual definition of an Antarctic vessel and the selection of a basic engineering design.

The shipyard conducted an international competition and selected the Vard 9 203 model proposed by the Canadian firm Vard Marine of the Italian Fincantieri group. The steel-cutting ceremony was held in May 2017 and construction of the unit began in August 2018.

The vessel will play a fundamental role in national Antarctic connectivity and will be capable of carrying out logistical tasks, search and rescue operations, scientific research, and resupplying the bases and scientific stations that Chile has on the white continent. She will also be qualified to carry out fishing control as an inspection vessel on vessels extracting marine resources in the Antarctic area.

Almirante Oscar Viel is classified as Ice Class (PC5) and will be able to break through a one-meter thick layer of ice one-year-old and covered with up to 20 centimeters of snow at a speed of three knots, allowing for winter scientific research campaigns. She has a flight deck and hangar for two Airbus AS332L Super Puma transport helicopters.

The ship has a length of 111 meters, a beam of 21 meters, a draught of 7.2 meters, a displacement of 10,500 tonnes, and will be capable of operating at a temperature of -30°C.

The icebreaker will have a range of 14,000 nautical miles, a 60-day operating range, and a maximum speed of 15 knots. She will have a crew of 76 and will be able to carry 44 scientists on each voyage.

Almirante Oscar Viel will have microbiological, macrobiological, and chemical laboratories as well as elements for the collection, storage, and preservation of samples from the sea and the seabed in cold storage.