During the 2021 Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) program, the crew of Chilean Navy scorpène-class submarine CS Carrera (SS-22) participated in the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) highlighting the importance of the undersea community in the Great Power Competition. Additionally, they successfully executed two simulated attacks on strike group units while also working alongside the U.S. Navy’s helicopter squadrons, demonstrating the formidable threat that the Chilean submarine force brings to the fight and the advanced mutual support they can offer to logistical movements.
Carrera (SS-22) is a Scorpène-class submarine built for the Chilean Navy by French Naval Group (formerly the Direction des Constructions Navales) in Cherbourg and Navantia in Cartagena, Spain. Carrera is the second of two units, behind O’Higgins (SS-23) built to replace the old Oberon-class submarines that served in the Chilean Navy for 30 years. It is currently serving in the Submarine Force with a base port in Talcahuano. The Chilean Scorpène-class O’Higgins and Carrera were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively. The Chilean boats is fitted with the TSM 2233 Mk 2 sonar.
Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 (CSS-11) hosted a closing ceremony in recognition of the conclusion of the 2021 Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) program with the Chilean scorpène-class submarine CS Carrera (SS-22) on Naval Base Point Loma, Sept. 14. The head of the Chilean Submarine Force, was also in attendance for the ceremony. Submarine Squadron 11 is based at Naval Base Point Loma and consists of five Los Angeles-class fast attack submarines, the floating dry dock Arco (ARDM 5) and Undersea Rescue Command (URC). The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support for each of these units.
The completion of this exercise marks Chile’s 9th deployment in the initiative. The Chilean Navy conducted their first deployment in 2007. Since then, Chilean submarines have participated in over 700 days of Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) training, exercises and events, with both U.S. Atlantic and Pacific fleets. DESI, established in 2001 by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, is an international program headed by Commander, Submarine Forces U.S. Atlantic Fleet which works to enhance the Navy’s capability to operate with diesel-electric submarines by partnering with South American navies. Current participating navies include Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil.