Construction on the Chilean Navy’s first domestically built icebreaker commenced in Talcahuano this past May. Named Antártica 1 and pictured here in a computer rendering, she is expected for delivery by 2022, with first patrols set to begin in 2023. Once operational, the new ship’s missions will include logistics support, search and rescue, base resupply, and scientific research in the Antarctic circle. With a planned displacement of more than 13,000 tons, the new icebreaker will measure 360 feet long with a beam of 69 feet and draft of 24 feet. The ship will have a top speed of 16 knots in open water or 3 knots when breaking up to 3.3 feet of ice. Carrying 120 personnel, she will be fitted with a powerful main propulsion system and bow thruster, cargo cranes, a twin helicopter hangar, and landing deck. Once operational, the Antártica 1 will replace Chile’s aging ex-Canadian icebreaker Contra-Almirante Óscar Viel Toro, which first entered service in 1969.
By Eric Wertheim