The Chilean Navy and ASMAR, Chile's state-owned shipyard, are studying the possibility of building corvettes to replace three Israeli-built Saar 4 fast missile craft that will reach the end of their service lives within the next decade, a military source in Santiago told IHS Jane's.
The option of building replacement vessels has gained preference after studies found that operational requirements, calling for ships more capable than the current missile craft, are unlikely to be met by the sort of second-hand vessels expected to be available within the next decade.
According to the source, studies are exploring further developing the offshore patrol vessel (OPV)-80 design from German shipbuilder Fassmer - currently used to build a series of 1,800 ton patrol ships - into a 2,200-2,600 ton missile corvette.
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