Chile Will Build First Research and Rescue Submarine
Eight years of research have enabled Grupo Vapor Industria to start the construction phase of what will be the first research and rescue submarine in Chile and South America. Chilean Defense Minister Andrés Allamand recently attended a presentation on the characteristics of the Crocodile Class 250 Submarine project, in Santiago.
With 250 tons of displacement, 33 meters in length, a hull diameter of 3.5 meters, a crew of 14 but the ability to operate with only four crew members, the ability to descend to a depth of up to 300 meters, and low operating costs, it has an approximate construction cost of over US$10 million, but varies according to the level of equipment.
It can be equipped with high-resolution sonars, echo sounders, and a hyperbaric chamber that can enable specialized divers to work at great depth for periods of up to three hours, among other equipment. The construction of the prototype is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.
In reference to the project, Allamand said, “In the event of accidents that other submarines might have, or in the event of emergency situations that might be related, for example, to an environmental disaster, there are no submarines in this part of the world that have the high level of rescue capabilities that this project has (…) This is a submarine that could render enormous service to the country in all areas related to scientific research, the study of tides, bathymetry studies; we’re therefore looking at a project that points toward the concrete possibility of being able to move forward on building a rescue submarine that could, if it is so decided, carry out some tasks in the defense area.”