Chile buys two Australian Adelaide-class frigates

SANTIAGO, (BM) – Australia has officially transferred two Adelaide-class missile frigates (US Oliver Hazard Perry) to the Chilean Navy, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing news agency AnalisiDifesa.

The former frigates of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Melbourne (FFG 05) and Newcastle (FFG 06), were officially handed over during a ceremony held at the HMAS Watson naval base in Sydney on April 15.

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The ships are intended to replace two recently demolished air defense frigates of the former Dutch Royal Navy Latorre class built in the 80s and acquired by Chile in 2004.

The two Australian frigates were built in Australia between 1985 and 1993 under US license and withdrawn from the RAN ranks in 2019. They are equipped with RGM-84J / L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, SM-2MR Block IIIA Standard anti-aircraft missiles. and RIM-162B Evolved Missile Sea Sparrow (ESSM), as well as an Oto Melara Mk 75 76 mm / 62 COMPACT cannon, an ADACS combat management system, Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes and a Spherion sonar mounted on the hull.

The two frigates have been renamed Almirante Latorre FFG 14 and Captain Prat FFG 11 (assuming the names of the former Dutch units they have replaced) and are undergoing work at the Garden Island shipyard in Sydney where the point defense system will be removed Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) will be removed in Australia while the Thales Goalkeeper CIWS will be installed in Chile.

The Chilean crew training is underway in Sydney and will continue until May even if, due to the Covid-19 emergency, the date of the final transfer of the ships to the Valparaiso base has not yet been confirmed.

Chile thus confirms the line implemented so far and based on the renewal of the first line of the surface fleet by acquiring second vessels in good condition, well armed and with a residual operating life.

The frigates in service today are in fact ex British Royal Navy (one Type 22 ex HMS Boxer and three Type 23 frigates), 2 ex Dutch Karel Doorman class (Type M) and the two mentioned Australian units.

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