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CS O'Higgins (SS23)

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

Naval Warfare / Ships

CS O'Higgins SS23 is a Chilean Navy diesel-electric attack submarine born from the export-minded, French-and-Spanish-built Scorpene-class.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 5/2/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
CS O'Higgins (SS23) is one of two Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarines fielded by the nation of Chile (the other being CS General Carrera SS22 detailed elsewhere on this site). O'Higgins was laid down on November 18th, 1999 and launched on November 3rd, 2003. She was formally commissioned into the Chilean Navy on September 8th, 2005 and makes her homeport out of Talcahuano. The two boats were ordered by the service to replace a pair of outgoing Oberon-class submarines in the same role.

The Scorpene-class is a boat group developed jointly by engineers of France (DCN) and Spain (Navantia, now DCNS) primarily for export sale. As such, the vessels have been purchased by several foreign parties including Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, and India to supply a modern underwater attack capability augmenting existing ocean-going force strength. Nineteen vessels were originally planned for the group but four have since been cancelled and five having been completed. Seven more are to see commissioning between 2016 and 2021.

The class showcases varying lengths between 200 feet and 230 feet. Beams and draught are consistent at 20 feet and 18 feet respectively. Power is through a diesel-electric arrangement with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) in play allowing for maximum speeds reaching 20 knots and ranges out to 6,500 nautical miles. The crew and boat can stay underwater and away from homeport for over a month before requiring refueling and resupply. A typical crew complement is just 31 men. The vessel displaces in the 1,725 ton (short) range.

In terms of armament, the class is appropriately outfitted with 6 x 533mm (21") torpedo launch tubes in the bow. Each boat can carry as many as eighteen reloads and can also fire the French SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missile or deploy up to thirty naval mines in contested waters.


Commissioned, in Active Service
31 Personnel
Ship Class [ Scorpene-class ]
Ships-in-Class [ 19 ] Ship Names: CS Carrera (SS-22); CS O'Higgins (SS-23); KD Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia); KD Tun Abdul Razak (Malaysia); Unnamed Indian Navy (S50); Unnamed Indian Navy (S51); Unnamed Indian Navy (S52); Unnamed Indian Navy (S53); Unnamed Indian Navy (S54); Unnamed Indian Navy (S55); Riachuelo (S40) (Brazil); Humaita (S41) (Brazil); Tonelero (S42) (Brazil); Angostura (S43) (Brazil)
National flag of Chile Chile
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
- Hunter
- Direct-Attack
218 ft (66.45 m)
Width / Beam:
20 ft (6.10 m)
Height / Draught:
19 ft (5.79 m)
Displacement (Surface):
1,668 tons
Diesel-Electric Propulsion; Battery service for submerged travel; 1 x Shaft.
Speed (Surface):
20 kts (23 mph)
5,648 nm (6,500 miles; 10,461 km)
6 x Alenia Whithead Black Shark Torpedoes in bow tube launchers.
Aerospatiale SM39 Exocet anti-ship surface-to-surface missiles.

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