In the first quarter of 2013, Chile will have one of the five most advanced scientific ships in the world, the AGS 61 Cabo de Hornos, despite the damage suffered during the tsunami of 2010. The amount invested has been 62 million dollars.
The boat is being rebuilt by the ASMAR shipyard in Talcahuano and will enable the Chilean Navy to have a research vessel at its disposal, after having retired the Vidal Gormaz from service, according to a report in Diario financiero [Financial Daily].
The Defense Ministry, through the Navy budget, and the Subsecretariat of Fishing have invested 62 million dollars in rebuilding a vessel that was to be launched on the same day that the seaquake happened.
The Cabo de Hornos suffered structural damage, chiefly to its external structures. Due to the situation of national emergency, repairs did not begin until February 2011, following its transfer to Drydock 2.
In addition to the 62 million dollars already invested, it is estimated that another 15 million more will be needed, contributed with the insurance companies.
The AGS 61 Cabo de Hornos is 74.1 meters in length and 15.6 meters in width and has seven decks and capacity for sixty-eight people, including scientists, officers, and Navy personnel.
In order to ensure silent operation, the vessel has electric propulsion and special measures to isolate vibrations and noise, the mentioned publication recalls.
The vessel will make it possible to study the presence of gas hydrates and the movement of tectonic plates down to 8,000 meters, to conduct undersea mapping down to 10,000 meters, and to catch fish as specimens and for species study down to 1,500 meters. Due to all this, those in charge of the project do not rule out leasing it to the international scientific community.