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Argentine studies the possibility to purchase new submarines.

| 2021

According to information published by "The Rio Times" newspaper website on December 21, Argentina is studying the possibility to purchase submarines. The Argentine Minister of Defense, Jorge Taiana, already held talks with the French company Naval Group to sound out the possibility of purchasing a submarine to replace the loss of the ARA San Juan.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Argentine Navy Submarine TR-1700 Class (S-41) ARA "Santa Cruz". (Picture source Wikimedia)

ARA San Juan (S-42) was a TR-1700-class diesel-electric submarine in service with the Submarine Force of the Argentine Navy from 1986 to 2017. It was built in West Germany, entering service on 19 November 1985, and underwent a mid-life update from 2008 to 2013. On 15 November 2017, San Juan went missing during a routine patrol in the South Atlantic off the coast of Argentina, believed to have suffered an electrical malfunction.

In 2018, Argentine had already signed a contract with the French company Naval Group to provide four multi-mission offshore patrol vessels. A.R.A. Bouchard (ex-L'Adroit) had been delivered in December 2019 and A.R.A. Piedrabuena on 13 April 2021. A.R.A. Storni was launched on 10 May 2021 and will be delivered next October, in accordance with the original contractual schedule and despite the global health situation.

On September 2021, the last of the four Offshore Patrol Vessel 87 (OPV 87) ordered to Naval Group by the Argentinean Navy, the A.R.A. Contraalmirante Cordero, was launched in Concarneau, France.

Argentina’s surface and submarine fleets remain small, with expired munitions, as well as delayed upgrades and service-life extensions for its core surface combatants, its four Meko 360 destroyers, and six Meko 140 frigates.

According to open sources, the Navy of Argentine has two submarines including the Santa Cruz S-41 and the Salta s-31. The TR-1700 (Santa Cruz) is a class of diesel-electric patrol submarines built by Thyssen Nordseewerke for the Argentine Navy in the 1980s, with two submarines completed. The Salta is type 209 is a diesel-electric attack submarine developed exclusively for export by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft of Germany.

The submarine fleet of the Argentine Navy is suffering from a lack of maintenance and training. The submarines accumulated a total of only 19 hours submerged in 2012 against a minimum requirement of 190 days. As of 2020, the entire fleet is inactive.

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