Monday, September 28, 2009

New Navy Chief Seeks Multirole Transport Ship

The navy's next major construction project should be a multirole transport ship capable of ferrying 500 marines, said new navy commander Adm. Edmundo Gonzalez Robles. The ship would also carry three helicopters and landing craft, Gonzalez told El Mercurio de Valparaiso. Such a vessel would be used to provide aid in case of natural disaster. Of course, it could also serve Chile's peacekeeping forces abroad and in the event of armed conflict. Gonzalez hinted that an existing design could be used for the project. The navy's main transport vessel, an ex-U.S. Navy amphibious landing ship, is nearing retirement. Gonzalez also wants to add 1,000 marines plus another 1,500 personnel . A few long-range helicopters are planned, too.

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