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Argentine and Peruvian navies focus on joint submarine training as they eye fleet revamps

Argentine sailors train aboard Peruvian submarine. (Peruvian Navy)

As the Argentine and Peruvian navies revamp their struggling submarine fleets, the two countries' maritime forces are focusing on joint training to help retain their subsea operational capability.

Joint training programmes aboard Peruvian submarines have become a catalyst to increase training ties between the navies of Argentina and Peru. Educational exchanges of naval personnel and joint training are not uncommon and the most recent wrinkle includes putting Argentine sailors aboard Peruvian submarines for training.

This initiative occurred for the first time in 2018 after the loss of Argentina's TR-1700-class diesel-electric submarine ARA San Juan (S-42) on 17 November 2017, hampering Argentina's ability to conduct – or prepare for – subsea operations. The Peruvian navy offered to support the training process of its counterpart. “As long as the Argentine navy does not have the necessary resources [for submarine training], they can count on the support of the Peruvian Navy,” a retired Peruvian naval officer told Janes, on condition of anonymity.

The most recent training programme, from 17 October to 6 November, involved three Argentine officers and 13 non-commissioned officers who took courses at Peru's submarine school.

The courses addressed issues including a submarine's engineering, electric, and weapons systems. Additionally, training took place aboard submarines BAP Arica (SS-36), BAP Islay (SS-35), and BAP Pisagua (SS-33) out at sea. The Argentine sailors received training on coastal maritime patrol operations, shooting at surface and underwater targets, as well as setting sail and docking, according to Peruvian Navy officials.

Peru's submarine fleet is composed of six units, two Type 209/1100 and four Type 209/1200, however replacements are necessary given their advanced age. The two oldest subs, Islay (SS-35) and Arica

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