Sunday, May 6, 2012

Submarine, Patrol Boat to be Built

A steel company in Chile is planning to build a submarine, which would be the first such project in Chile. The Crocodile Class 250 sub will be used for research and rescues, and would not have military capabilities. Still, Chilean officials laud the effort, even though the Navy has not agreed to acquire the sub. The Crocodile -- being built by a company named Vapor Industrial -- can operated at a depth of 300 meters with a maximum endurance underwater of three hours. Meanwhile, the Navy-owned Asmar shipyard is building a third offshore patrol vessel for the Armada. The new ship will vary slightly from two sister ships already delivered: It will have a hardened hull to operate in Artic waters and better weaponry. The vessels are based on the German Fassmer OPV 80 design. The 1,900-ton ships have a maximum speed of 20 knots, maximum endurance of 30 days and a crew of up to 60. The main armament is a 40 mm gun, plus several .50-caliber machine guns. The first two were delivered in 2008-09. UPDATE: A 76mm gun, reinforced hull and navigation system will increase the cost of the new offshore patrol vessel by 43% over earlier boats. The total cost was not given.

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