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Chilean Navy Set to Upgrade Frigates with U.S. Missiles

Chilean navy frigate CNS Almirante Cochrane (FF 05) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 in late June. US Navy Photo

Chilean navy frigate CNS Almirante Cochrane (FF 05) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 in late June. US Navy Photo

The Chilean Navy is planning on upgrading its three U.K.-built Type-23 frigates with U.S. anti-air missile systems, according to a notice to Congress on a potential foreign military sale.

Under the initial terms, the U.S. intends to sell the South American country 33 of the Raytheon Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSMs), six Evolved Seasparrow Telemetry Missiles, three Lockheed Martin Mk 41 Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) and other gear in a $140 million, according to a release on the notice from the U.S. State Department Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by increasing Chile’s ability to contribute to regional security and promoting interoperability with the U.S. forces,” read the notice.
“The sale will provide upgraded air defense capabilities on Chile’s type 23 frigates. The proposed sale improves Chile’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense. Chile will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”

Chile operates three former U.K. Royal Navy Type-23 frigates currently armed with the legacy GWS-26 Sea Wolf anti-air missiles and the ESSMs will be a significant upgrade, Eric Wertheim, the author of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the Worldtold USNI News on Tuesday.

“I think it’s a smart move by Chile,” he said.
“They’re moving beyond their current generation of surface to air missiles.”

The following is the complete July 5, 2016 statement from DSCA.

Chile – Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSMs) WASHINGTON, Jul 5, 2016 –

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Chile for Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSMs), equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $140.1 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 1, 2016.

The Government of Chile has requested a possible sale of:

Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

Thirty-thirty (33) Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSMs) Six (6) Evolved Seasparrow Telemetry Missiles Three (3) MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLS), tactical version, baseline VII

Non-MDE:

This request also includes the following Non-MDE: Ten (10) MK25 Quad Pack Canisters; Five (5) ESSM Shipping Containers; Five (5) MK-73 Continuous Wave Illumination Transmitters, One (1) Inertial Missile Initializer Power Supply (IMIPS); spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, technical assistance, installation and integration oversight support, logistics, program management, packaging and transportation. The total estimated value of MDE is $73.2 million. The total overall estimated value is $140.1 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by increasing Chile’s ability to contribute to regional security and promoting interoperability with the U.S. forces. The sale will provide upgraded air defense capabilities on Chile’s type 23 frigates. The proposed sale improves Chile’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense. Chile will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona, BAE Systems, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Chile.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

 

Categories: News & Analysis
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.