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.