Chilean Navy to upgrade two diesel-electric submarines

SANTIAGO – Two German-built Thomson (Type 209/1400) class diesel-electric submarines currently operated by the Chilean Navy will undergo a final life-extension and refit and upgrade program beginning in 2018, according to commander in chief Vice Admiral Julio Leiva Molina.

The refit and upgrade cost is as of yet unknown, but has been approved and funded by the government. The effort is intended to keep the boats – Thomson (SS 20) and Simpson (SS 21) – operational until 2030.

Two newer French-designed Scorpene submarines were delivered last decade, and the 209s were standardized with the new boats’ SUBTICS combat system and fire control system, but retained the original Atlas Elektronik CSU sonar suite.