Chilean president Sebastián Piñera headed on Sunday the steel cutting ceremony for the building of the first, --out of four--, multipurpose vessel, to be incorporated to the country's navy. Also present at the ceremony were Defense minister Baldo Prokurica and the commander in chief of the navy, Admiral Juan Andrés de la Maza.
The vessels belonging to the Escotillon IV Project will be able to operate with helicopters, special cranes for the loading of containers, transport containers and heavy machinery, plus 250 members of the Amphibious Expeditionary Brigade. The 7,987 tons will be 110 meters long, have a bean of 21 meters and will be operational 187 days a year.
Escotillon IV is a significant and ambitious change for the nay, and hopefully if all works out as planned, we could have an industry capable of building vessels both for the navy and for commercial use, pointed out the Chilean president.
The new multipurpose vessels should help replace other units that have reached their decommissioning age. Their design is basically made up of 42 structural blocks, which are then integrated, Piñera added.
The project is the result of talks with the Chilean navy, which in 2020 announced that the objective of developing the Asmar shipyard in Talcahuano, was to improve its capacity for building new transport and amphibious vessels to address the multiple necessities of Chile and adversities in the future.
The multipurpose vessels will have the capacity to transport twenty two 20feet containers, a ramp at stern to load amphibious vehicles and/or landing crafts. On deck she will have two cranes capable of lifting 20 tons and a mechanic 15 meters arm. This firs vessel should be ready for launching in 2024 before undergoing the sea trials.
The new vessels will not only have military tasks but also involvement in humanitarian operations in the face of natural disasters, transport of peace vehicles and heavy machinery, and logistics and connectivity for isolated territories. Likewise coordinate operations with other ministries and government departments.