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ARA San Juan Update

P-8A Poseidon VX-20 Squadron.jpg
P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. By Greg L. Davis, Public Domain.

The search for ARA San Juan continues, without any success thus far. Unfortunately, heavy seas are complicating the rescue effort. I answered some questions about the search here; I also have a short piece about the Argentine Navy’s submarine force at the National Interest:

Argentina had planned to acquire a flotilla of modern submarines from Germany, the world’s most accomplished builder of diesel-electric submarines, in the late 1970s, but these plans only claim to fruition in 1982. Argentina ordered six TR-1700 submarines, two to be constructed in German yards, and four in Argentina with German assistance. The Navy reasoned that larger, longer-legged boats could operate even more effectively than ARA San Luis, and could provide a real operational deterrent if war recurred over the Malvinas.

ARA San Juan and her sister, ARA Santa Cruz entered service in 1985 and 1984, respectively. Displacing 2200 tons, they are roughly the same size as the Israeli Dolphin-2 class, and can make twenty-five knots submerged. With a crew complement of forty-four, the boats have an endurance of about thirty days. They have six torpedo tubes, and can carry up to twenty-two torpedoes.

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