By Carolina Contreras/Diálogo November 22, 2016 Everything is ready for the start of Exponaval 2016, the X International Maritime and Naval Exhibition and Conference for Latin America, and for Trans-Port, the V Maritime and Port Exhibition for the Latin American Industry. The two exhibitions will be held simultaneously from November 29th through December 2nd at the Chilean Naval Air Station Concon, located in Valparaíso Region, 132 kilometers from the capital, Santiago. This exhibition, organized by the Chilean Navy and event management company FISA, has taken place every other year since 1998. As the only exclusively naval exhibition in the region, it has positioned itself as the most important naval defense and maritime fair in the region. The exhibition brings defense and maritime companies together from all over the world, including shipyards, maritime technology companies, and security and telecommunications firms. “(Exponaval) is recognized globally as a fundamental occasion to protect naval and maritime regional interests,” said Admiral Enrique Larragaña, commander in chief of the Chilean Navy. More than 160 companies will participate in the event, 70 percent of which are foreign. They will show off their technological advances and innovations in the development and production of submarines, frigates, amphibious transport vessels, icebreakers, offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), tugboats, and patrol boats. New sensors, fire control systems, rocket and missile systems, communications systems, command and control systems, propulsion systems, robots, minesweeper and inspection submarines also will be on display. In addition, air-maritime exploration and search aircraft will be available for inspection, along with simulators and maritime security equipment. The show will cover an area of 14,500 cubic meters of exhibition space. “Exponaval is also a meeting point for Latin American and other navies around the world, where 31 official naval delegations have confirmed their attendance. The delegations from Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico, and Argentina will be headed by their country’s naval commander in chief, while in the case of the United States and Mexico, they will be headed by representatives from their respective navies,” said Adm. Larragaña. “(Exponaval) is an occasion for sailors around the world to get to know and exchange with each other. It offers a chance to dialogue with the top naval authorities from each of the invited delegations,” said Chilean Navy Vice Admiral Francisco García-Huidobro, president of Exponaval. New vessels and demonstrations This year, organizers hope to attract more than 9,000 visiting professionals, thanks to the presence of foreign navy vessels such as Brazil’s “Constituição” (F-42) Niteroi class frigate and Mexico’s “Centenario de la Revolución” PO 164 OPV. These units, along with a Chilean Navy team, will develop a program of activities that will “contribute to increasing the bonds of cooperation and interoperability of allied navies,” said Vice Adm. García-Huidobro. On December 1st, the Chilean Navy will carry out a naval exercise in Valparaíso Bay demonstrating its response capacity during environmental and security threats. The simulation will consist of the detection and subsequent neutralization of a terrorist group transporting radioactive waste on board a motorboat hidden in the Port of Valparaíso. The Chilean Navy’s board-and-search group is charged with the mission and will have assets at their disposal such as the “Piloto Pardo” OPV, a P-3 Orion plane, Cougar helicopters, fast attack craft, personal watercraft and inflatable boats to control the threat of radioactive material and to contain a possible oil spill. Fast Rope demonstrations are likewise being planned. They will involve air assets to show their rescue capacities and also demonstrations of the Damaged Aircraft Escape Simulator, considered one of the most modern in South America. Sustainability as a challenge This year’s theme – “Challenge of Sustainability of the Naval and Maritime Industry” – will bring together notable domestic and international exhibitors to discuss subjects such as energy efficiency and emissions control in different propulsion systems and new designs for combat ships. The exhibitors also will analyze the impact of larger merchant ships on port infrastructure and the associated logistics chain. In addition, they will address future projects in Latin American terminals. Exponaval 2016 includes the development of technical conferences, which allow exhibitors and visitors to get to know the latest innovations and trends in technology. “For four days, the global vanguard in terms of defense and maritime work will be gathered here and will be at the disposal of our personnel. That is invaluable,” concluded Vice Adm. García-Huidobro.