Virginia Ship Being Readied for Syria Weapons Disposal

By: AP
By: AP

January 2, 2014

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - A 648-foot cargo ship is being outfitted with new technology in Virginia to destroy some of Syria's chemical weapons.

The MV Cape Ray is undergoing the work at a shipyard in Portsmouth before it sails to the Mediterranean within two weeks. The vessel in the Maritime Administration's ready reserve is rolling out the gangplank Thursday for invited members of the media.

A key addition to the ship is the Field Deployable Hydrolysis System. Designed by the Defense Department, the system can neutralize lethal chemical weapons such as nerve gas using water and caustic bleaching compounds.

The system can treat more than two dozen metric tons of chemicals a day. The chemicals would be neutralized in international waters and destroyed on land.

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