Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Offshore Patrol Vessel Launched

The Chilean navy's second offshore patrol vessel was launched Oct. 15 at the ASMAR shipyard. The ship now goes into sea trials and is scheduled to enter service late next year. The Comandante Toro is a 1,900-ton ship with a helicopter hangar, maximum speed of 20 knots, endurance of 30 days and a crew of up to 60. Its role will be to patrol Chile's extensive territorial waters, provide rescue and environmental services and protect fisheries. Its main armament is a 40 mm gun. The navy's long-term plan is to build four OPVs, one for each of its major naval districts. The ships -- based on the German Fassmer class -- also may become the platform for a new guided-missile corvette.

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