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AP-46 "Almirante Oscar Viel"

The Chilean Navy icebreaker "Almirante Oscar Viel" is scheduled to decommission in 2015 so “we are in the task of considering a replacement” revealed Third Naval Zone Commander Rear Admiral Rafael Gonzalez during a press conference in Punta Arenas to review results of the last Antarctic season. However the cost of a new vessel equipped state of the art for scientific research in sub freezing conditions is in the “range of 250 million US dollars”.

“An adequate replacement is even more imperative since the Antarctic Policy Council agreed to increase the Chilean presence in Antarctica, both at sea and the continent, which means more scientific activities, conservation, looking after the environment and a little bit of sovereignty, showing the flag”, explained the head of the Naval post in Punta Arenas.

The "Almirante Oscar Viel" is the main Chilean Antarctic supply vessel. It has a strengthened hull enabling it to push through thin pack ice as shown in the photo above. It has a pennant number "AP-46" and is often identified this way as its full name of "Almirante Oscar Viel Rompehielos" is rather long. "Rompehielos" means Icebreaker.

AP-46 "Almirante Oscar Viel" was built as Norman McLeod Rogers by Vickers Armstrong in Montreal, Canada, and acquired the Canadian Navy. On 20 December 1994, iza first national flag, finding the ship in shipyards in esquimalt, in the vicinity of Victoria, Canada. Built-in service on January 14, 1995, according to resolution C.J.A. Res. No. 4520/9 of February 15, 1995. It performs its first Antarctic campaign between November 1995 and February 1996.

The ship has carried out various activities in the white continent, such as: logistical support bases and national and foreign Antarctic operators. Also until last January 30, that unit is devoted exclusively to the expedition scientific Antarctic Nº 47 of the national Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), providing support and transfer to scientists from various places, such as: land of O'Higgins, and the Byers peninsula, until the return to Fildes Bay, place where ends the expedition.

The Antarctic combined Naval patrol is carried out jointly by Chile and Argentina since 1998, through an agreement that establishes the operation of vessels of these countries in Antarctic waters during the summer season, and aims to safeguard human life at sea, control and fight against pollution, and mutual support to deal with maritime emergencies in that zone.




Ship List
Name # Port Laid
Launch Comm Decomm Notes
AP-46 Almirante Oscar Viel 1969 1995 ex-Norman McLeod Rogers

Displacement, full6,500 tons
Displacement, light tons
GT (Gross Tonnage) tons
NT (Net Tonnage) tons
DWT (Deadweight) tons
Length, O/A89,91 meters / 292 feet
Length, W/L meters / feet
Length, B/P meters / feet
Max Beam19.05 meters / feet
Draft6.06 meters / feet
Height meters / feet
Propulsion Type
Number of Main Engine(s)
Main Engine builder
Main Model
Main RPM
Main power 15.525 HP
Speed, maximum15.4 knots
Speed, Cruise Knots
Range nautical miles at knots
Stores endurance days
Weapons Systems 2 20 mm guns
Aviation helicopter

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Page last modified: 04-12-2012 19:02:27 ZULU