The Peruvian Navy (Marina de Guerra del Peru: MGP) commissioned its new oceanographic research vessel (Buque Oceanografico Polar) BAP Carrasco (BOP 171) on 3 May 2017. The MGP took delivery of the vessel on 22 March 2017 at the Freire Shipyards in Spain, and Carrasco departed Vigo on 27 March under the command of Commander Carlos Holguin Valdivia.
After port calls at Cartagena, Colombia; Panama; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Paita, Peru, Carrasco arrived in Callao on 3 May 2017. Its operating profile will range from hydrographic, biological, and geological missions as well as physiochemical survey providing support to humanitarian operations. Carrasco is expected to undertake a programme of extensive trials to ensure it is ready to sail on its maiden deployment to the Peruvian Machu Picchu research base Antarctica in 2018.
Based on the ST 344 Skipsteknisk design, Carrasco is similar to the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) oceanographic research vessel RRS Discovery . The steel-hulled ship has a length of 95.9 m, a 6,000-tonne displacement, has a streamlined and raked superstructure with a meteorological sensor platform at the forward end, a stern A-frame with towing capability, and several deck-handling cranes. Carrasco 's main propulsion is made up of two Rolls Royce engines, four Caterpillar 3516C diesel generators, and two Rolls Royce azimuth thrusters, providing a maximum speed of more than 16 kt and an economic speed of 12 kt.
Carrasco has a global ocean-going capability from tropical seas to polar waters up to force 8 weather conditions. The PC-7 ice class strengthened hull enables operations from December to March in Antarctica ice zones, and the hull and propulsion systems are designed to reduce operation and maintenance costs.
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