Chile to Equip Ex-Australian Adelaide-class Frigate with SM-2 Block IIIA Missiles
Chile to Equip Ex-Australian Adelaide-class Frigate with SM-2 Block IIIA Missiles

Chile to Equip Ex-Australian Adelaide-class Frigate with SM-2 Block IIIA Missiles

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Chile of Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $85.0 million.This proposed sale would support Chile’s anti-air warfare capabilities for the two recently transferred former Adelaide-class frigates to the Chilean Navy. Chile will have no difficulty absorbing the equipment and services into its armed forces. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Chile. The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona.

The Government of Chile has requested to buy up to sixteen (16) Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA missiles (rail launched) (including two (2) missiles with manufacturer installed telemeter); two (2) MK 89 Mod 0 Guidance Sections; and one (1) Target Detection Device Kit (including shroud), MK 45 Mod 14. Intermediate Level Maintenance Facility; spare parts and associated containers; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical data; U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support including ordnance handling equipment; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $85.0 million.

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A 1,500-pound SM-2 missile leaps from the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) at twice the speed of sound to destroy an advanced high-speed target.
A 1,500-pound SM-2 missile leaps from the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) at twice the speed of sound to destroy an advanced high-speed target.

In May 2019 it was reported that Chile had also showed interest in the two frigates. On 27 December 2019, it was announced that Melbourne and Newcastle had been sold to Chile. On 15 April 2020 the ships were handed over to the Chilean Navy and renamed “Capitan Prat” FFG-11 (ex HMAS Newcastle), and “Almirante Latorre” FFG-14 (ex HMAS Melbourne). Both ships were purchased under Chile’s Puente IV program to replace the two ex-Royal Netherlands Navy’s Jacob van Heemskerck-class frigates built in the mid-1980s and purchased by Chile in 2005. The Adelaide class was a ship class of six guided missile frigates constructed in Australia and the United States of America for service in the Royal Australian Navy.

The SM-2 missile chases threats closer to the water’s surface, defending against anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles. SM-2 is a cornerstone of a ship’s layered defense. The RIM-66M is the version of the Standard missile two medium-range (SM-2MR) currently in service with the USN aboard Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The missile is specifically designed for the Aegis Combat System and the Mk41 Vertical launch system. The SM-2 variants include radar seeker technologies in continuous wave and interrupted continuous wave guidance modes, tail controls and solid rocket motor propulsion to engage high-speed maneuvering threats and updated radar targeting and directional warheads.

Royal Australian Navy HMAS Sydney launching a SM2 missile on the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Hawaii.
Royal Australian Navy HMAS Sydney launching a SM2 missile on the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Hawaii.
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