Chile to request US Standard Missile-2 SM-2 Block IIIA anti-ship missiles for its Adelaide-class frigates

According to information published by the U.S. Department of Defense on February 5, 2021, 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. 
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Chilean Navy Capitan Prat FFG 11 Adelaide-class frigate. (Picture source Pinterest)

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.

The Standard Missile-2 also called RIM-66 is a medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM), also used as an anti-ship missile, originally developed for the United States Navy (USN) by the American company Raytheon.

The SM-2 missile is all solid-fueled and tail controlled, designed to launch from either a Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) or Mk 26 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS). 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 warhead

The Block III missiles differ from earlier blocks by the addition of the MK 45 MOD 9 target detecting device, for improved performance against low altitude targets. The Standard SM-2 Block IIIA is a Block III follow-on capable of lower flying target engagements. It features a new optimized warhead.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Chile.

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.

The Adelaide is a class of guided missile frigates constructed in Australia and the United States of America for service in the Royal Australian Navy. Currently, two ships are in service with the Chilean Navy including the Almirante Latorre FFG 14 and the Capitan Prat FFG 11. 

The Adelaide-class frigate is armed with Mk 41 VLS (Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile) Mk 13 missile launcher (40-missile magazine, Harpoon, and SM-2 (MR) anti-ship missiles), one OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun, one 20 mm Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx, and two triple 324 mm Mk 32 torpedo tubes.

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