U.S. Approves Possible Sale of SM-2 Block IIIA Missiles to Chile

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA missiles to Chile through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Feb. 5.

The SM-2 Block IIIA missiles are for integration on the two Adelaide (Oliver Hazard Perry)-class guided-missile frigates, Ex-HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) and Ex-HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06), transferred to Chilean Navy by Australia. These vessels, renamed Almirante Latorre (FFG 14) and Capitan Prat (FFG 11), are intended to replace two decommissioned ex-Royal Netherlands Navy Latorre (Jacob van Heemskerck)-class air-defence frigates that were built in the 1980s and acquired by Chile in 2004.

The integration of SM-2 Block IIIA missiles will enhance the anti-air warfare capabilities of the frigates.

The Government of Chile has requested to buy up to 16 Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA missiles (rail launched) (including two missiles with manufacturer installed telemeter); two MK 89 Mod 0 Guidance Sections; and one 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 principal contractor of the sale will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona.

The DSCA said in statement that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner in South America.

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 statement added that the proposed sale of this equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Standard Missile-2

The Standard Missile-2 is the world’s premier fleet-area air defense weapon, providing superior anti-air warfare (AAW) and limited anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capability against advanced anti-ship missiles (AShMs) and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles.

The SM-2 missile is an integral part of a layered defense that protects some of the world’s important naval assets and gives warfighters a greater reach in the battlespace.

SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missile features:

• Advanced semi-active radar seeker technologies in both continuous wave and interrupted continuous wave guidance modes
• Tail controls and solid rocket motor propulsion to engage the world’s advanced high-speed maneuvering threats at tactically significant ranges
• SM-2 Block IIIB enhances the IIIA’s existing superior capabilities by adding autonomous infrared acquisition
• High-technology active radar target detection device and directional warhead to ensure successful destruction of the target

Both SM-2 missile variants have successfully intercepted targets and are lethal against subsonic, supersonic, low- and high- altitude, high-maneuvering, diving, sea-skimming, anti-ship cruise missiles fighters, bombers and helicopters in an advanced electronic countermeasures environment.

The SM-2 missile has extensive area- and self-defense flight test history with more than 2,700 successful flight tests.

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