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AGOR-60 "Vidal Gormaz"

One of the ways in which the Chilean Navy has contributed to national development is by means of the oceanographic ship “Vidal Gormaz”, to search for natural gas beneath the seabed of the Chilean coast. This project is being developed together with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso and the United States’ Office of Naval Research. One of the most valuable results obtained by the work carried out by the Chilean Navy and civilian organizations was the discovery of extensive deposits of underwater gas hydrates along the coasts of Southern Chile, which represent a new source of energy for the future.

The AGOR-60 "Vidal Gormaz" was built as a ship of the class "USS Robert D. Conrad" by "Marinette Marine Corporation" in the United States of America. He entered the service of the United States Navy on 27 September 1965, with AGOR 10 "Thomas Washington" name. Beginning in 1966, the ship was delivered for its operation to the "Scripps Institution of Oceanography" at the University of California, San Diego, where more than one million nautical miles sailed during the 26 years that served to this Institute, being modernized in 1984.

It was purchased through an intergovernmental agreement under the Foreign Military Act, incorporating in the service of the Navy of Chile in San Diego, California, on September 28, 1992 by resolution C.J.A. Res. 4520/B-1301 of 23 September of that same year, arriving at Valparaíso on December 03, 1992. It is the second ship of the Navy which takes in behalf of the outstanding captain of Fragata Francisco Vidal Gormaz (1837-1907), remarkable hydrographer, astronomer, geographer and writer, who founded the Hydrographic Office in Chile, today hydrographic service y Oceanográfico de la Armada SHOA.

The crew is composed of 10 officers and 41 seafarers, which adds the ability to provide accommodation to 15 scientists. AGOR stands for Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research. (Ship Assistant General Oceanographic search). The unit can operate in all ocean areas and has the capacity to perform research of up to 35 cruise-day without refueling.

Their research capabilities cover the areas of physical, chemical and biological oceanography; as well as also, geophysics and marine geology. Among its main equipment has three spacious work Labs employed by scientists in Commission, three Oceanographic winches, two band davits used to extract samples at depths of up to 6,000 metres, one crane type "A" to lift scientific material of up to 3,000 kgs and varied equipment Oceanographic sampling. In addition, can host a series of sonars to obtain information on the topography of the seafloor at different depths and study of biomass.

From arrival to Chile, the ship has sailed more than 150,000 nautical miles, with more than 17,000 hours of work, including "Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphera". -"World Ocean Circulation Experiment". -"El Nino, Southern Oscillation". -"Maritime scientific research in National Oceanic Islands and fjords Cruises". The Unit participates in projects financed by the National Fund for scientific and technological development (FONDECYT) and the National Fund for development of primary Areas (FONDAP), embarking on their cruises to prominent researchers of the hydrographic service y Oceanográfico de la Armada, SHOA and the universities of Valparaiso and Concepcion, together with national and foreign scientists.

Since the beginning of its activities in Chile, AGOR 60 Vidal Gormaz has allowed the incorporation of valuable Oceanographic information in geographical sectors never investigated and which have an economic potential of great relevance for the development of the country.



Ship List
Name # Port Laid
Launch Comm Decomm Notes
AGOR-60 Vidal Gormaz 1965 1992 ex-AGOR 10 Thomas Washington

Displacement, full1,490 tons
Displacement, light tons
GT (Gross Tonnage) tons
NT (Net Tonnage) tons
DWT (Deadweight) tons
Length, O/A 63.6 meters / 207 feet
Length, W/L meters / feet
Length, B/P meters / feet
Max Beam11.7 meters / feet
Draft4.6 meters / feet
Height meters / feet
Propulsion Type
Number of Main Engine(s)
Main Engine builder
Main Model
Main RPM
Main power1,000 HP
Speed, maximum12 knots
Speed, Cruise Knots
Range nautical miles at knots
Stores endurance days
Weapons Systems2 simple assemblies of 20 mm

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Page last modified: 04-12-2012 19:02:25 ZULU