Thursday, August 24, 2017

Chile Studies LORA Long-Range Missile

Chile is evaluating the Israeli Aerospace Industries Long Range Attack system, a weapon with a range of 400 km — far more than any artillery system currently in the country's arsenal and anywhere in Latin America. LORA is being considered for deployment in the next decade and would be based on a ship platform, according to a report in Jane's 360. This may end up like so many rumored acquisitions that never materialize. But if LORA does come to Chile, it would mark a shift in military strategy, and not just because of the extreme range. Installed on a warship or even a commercial vessel, LORA could be moved around the expanse of the southern Pacific, providing more mobility than if the system were based on land. LORA also has the potential to change Chile's deep-strike strategy. A missile with 400 km of range and GPS guidance would lessen the need for F-16 fighter jets and the risks that come with an attack into enemy territory. Looking further into the future, any fourth- or fifth-generation fighter to replace the current fleet of F-16s would be costly, and a surface-launched missile would offer another attack option. LORA could take the deep-strike role from FACh, at least in part. LORA is a 5-meter long missile launched from sealed canisters. It uses GPS guidance to reach its target and is accurate to within a 10-meter radius, packing a warhead capable of penetrating reinforced structures.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Navy Adds Fourth Off-Shore Patrol Vessel

The Asmar shipyard delivered a new off-shore patrol vessel to Chile's Navy, the fourth in the series. OPV 84 Cabo Odger displaces 1,728 tons and measures 265 feet in length, with capabilities to stay on the ocean up to 30 days and travel a maximum of 8,000 nautical miles. The ship is armed with a 76 mm cannon and .50-caliber machine guns. OPV 84 will be based in Iquique, where the Navy faces a swarm of illegal fishing activity. Like others in the Fassmer-class OPVs, Cabo Odger has capabilities for search and rescue, environmental protection and a number of auxiliary roles. Each also has a hangar and deck for a helicopter. The Navy plans to build six of the vessels. The program started with the 2007 launch of the first ship, OPV 81, in what originally was going to be a fleet of four boats. Construction of the next two OPVs has not been announced.