The Chilean Navy's commander in chief, Vice Admiral Julio Leiva Molina, confirmed earlier this month, during Chile's submarine centennial celebrations, that the two German-built Thomson (Type 209/1400) class diesel-electric submarines currently operated by the service will undergo a final life-extension and refit and upgrade programme beginning in 2018, according to sources who were present.
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 standardised with the new boats’ SUBTICS combat system and fire control system, but retained the original Atlas Elektronik CSU sonar suite.
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