Monday, May 10, 2021

Chile Replenishes its Hercules C-130 Fleet

 Chile's Air Force is adding two used Lockheed Hercules C-130H transport planes, thanks to a donation from the U.S. government. The first plane was delivered April 22 after serving with the Montana Air National Guard. The delivery came with a bonus: The plane was packed with Covid-19 relief supplies. Chile's Hercules have been used to transport Covid patients from remote locations, including Easter Island. The second Hercules is set for delivery in the next few months. The acquisition helps Chile recover the loss of a C-130 that crashed in the ocean in 2019, leaving all on board dead. That plane was a model H, the same as the newly acquired Hercules. Including the donated planes, Chile's Air Force operates four C-130H and three C-130R and a single C-130B. The latter is likely to be retired when the second Herc is delivered.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Navy Acquires New Helicopters, Picks Design for New Multipurpose Ships


Chile's Navy is getting deliveries of five H125 helicopters that will replace several Bell UH-57B Jet Rangers in service since the 1970s. Airbus Helicopters delivered the first H125 in December, with four more set for delivery by 2023, including two this year. Like the Jet Rangers they replace, the H125s are general purpose light helicopters suitable for missions such as patrol, search and rescue and pilot training. Separately, the Navy's Asmar shipyard awarded a contract to Canada's Vard Marine for the design of four new multipurpose ships. The company's Series 7 design will be adapted for Chile's requirements and will replace three old transport ships, including one (AP 41 Aquiles) that was also a Vard design. Asmar will build the Series 7 ships, which are equipped for logistic support, search and rescues, troop transport and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. The Series 7 standard design measures 130 meters in length, holds a crew of 74, has an endurance of 30 days and maximum range of 8,000 nautical miles. The Series 7 class also has two helicopter landing pads, space for 300 troops and two landing craft.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

U.S. Approves Missile Sale to Chile's Navy

The U.S. State Department approved the sale of air-defense missiles to Chile in a deal valued at $85 million. The 16 Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA are destined for the Navy's two Adelaide-class frigates acquired from Australia last year, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The package includes MK 89 Mod 0 guidance sections, a target detection device kit, a maintenance facility, spare parts, training and technical data. Raytheon Missiles and Defense is the main contractor for the project. Chile's Navy acquired the frigates in a transfer from Australia's navy last May to replace a pair of aging Dutch-built frigates. The Adelaide-class warship are capable of carrying SM-2 missiles but apparently were not included in the transfer. The SM-2s, also known as RIM-66, have a maximum range of 90 nautical miles and are effective against aircraft and anti-ship missiles. The Block IIIA model includes radar seeker technologies, tail controls and solid rocket motors to defeat high-speed maneuvering threats, plus updated radar targeting and directional warheads.