Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Navy Commander Could Usher in 2nd Assault Ship

The Navy this month swore in its new leader, Adm. Enrique Larrañaga Martin, whose early achievements could be bringing his force a second amphibious assault ship. Jane's reported that the Navy will move forward with plans to acquire France's Siroco multi-role ship. Her sister ship, the Foudre, was sold to Chile in 2011 (and is now called the Sargento Aldea) and immediately gave the Navy the vessel necessary to form its new Amphibious Expeditionary Brigade. Chile has had its eye on the Siroco since the Foudre was bought. Soon after he began his four-year term as head of the Navy, Adm. Edmundo González laid out a vision for one or two multi-role ships. He delivered on the first one, and Adm. Larrañaga figures to inherit the Siroco during his new term. The 12,000-ton Foudre-class ships can carry about 450 troops, up to seven helicopters and as many as 100 vehicles. The Sargento Aldea also has extensive medical facilities, which the Armada has already used on relief missions in outlying areas of the country. Acquiring another amphibious assault ship would also mean further purchases of landing craft, helicopters and armored vehicles. The Sargento Aldea is still not fully equipped; the Navy has only three Cougar transport helicopters and the dozen AAV7 armored vehicles it recently purchased won't be delivered until early next year. Another dozen AAV7 or similar amphibious vehicles could be needed if Chile completes the purchase of the Siroco.With both ships, Chile would be able to move its Amphibious Expeditionary Brigade many thousand miles, and be able to support it with armor and logistical units. But the brigade still would lack one of the key elements of a true blue water navy: warplanes. Chile has no plans to acquire vertical-takeoff planes such as Harriers to give its marines an air-attack or air-superiority arm. Instead, the brigade is being built to serve as a peacekeeping force, though it certainly could be used in case of armed conflict.


Anonymous said...

For one side Chile is close to start electricity rationing as a result of lack of long term inversion in Energy development . And for another side a furious spending in obsolete military equipment is taking place. Without public accounting the money will continue to be wasted instead to solve more real problems today.

James G. said...

Stop trolling please. The Foudre is FAR from obsolete. And Chile has an energy shortage because the country adopted ridiculous `green`policies that stunted it`s energy development. Probably because of all the irrational opinions by people like yourself.