With the participation of delegations from 34 countries South America’s largest naval exposition was officially opened Tuesday in Valaparaíso. The seventh edition of ExpoNaval is scheduled to last until next Friday with business deals reaching 600 million US dollars according to the organizers.
The show gives an insight to the latest technological advances and innovations in the naval defence industry as well as in the maritime transport sector.
Among the several displays at the show is the US Navy Swift, an ultra modern high speed vessel that is currently participating in the annual Southern Partnership exercises organized by the US Southern Command involving several navies of the Pacific basin.
The catamaran designed vessel with a ‘wave-piercing’ aluminium hull can reach speeds of 45 knots (75 kilometres per hour) and is almost non radar detectable.
The opening ceremony was headed by Chilean Defence minister Jaime Ravinet and the Commander of the Chilean Navy Admiral Edmundo González and was followed by an international conference on “Navies and their maritime protection roles”.
Defence minister Ravinet underlined that Exponaval has become a referent not only at South American level but for the world industry in areas such as maritime transport, ports and infrastructure, and defence.
On Wednesday the Maritime Conference will address the issue of “Maritime Transport and World Trade” while on Thursday the US Navy Scientific Research Office will be displaying material referent to emergency situations, rescue operations, naval corrosion, energy and power.
This will be followed by an interdiction maritime exercise involving the Chilean and Mexican navies in the Valparaíso bay.
Among the foreign vessels present at the Exponaval are the USS Swift high speed catamaran, the Royal Navy South Atlantic patrol, HMS Gloucester and the Mexican navy ARM Baja California. The Chilean navy is displaying its renewed surface fleet which includes mainly former Royal Navy and Dutch navy frigates.