Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

CS O'Higgins (SS23)

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

CS O'Higgins (SS23)

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine


CS O'Higgins SS23 is a Chilean Navy diesel-electric attack submarine born from the export-minded, French-and-Spanish-built Scorpene-class.
National Flag Graphic
YEAR: 2005
SHIP CLASS: Scorpene-class
SHIPS-IN-CLASS (19): 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)

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the base CS O'Higgins (SS23) design. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 31
LENGTH: 218 feet (66.45 meters)
BEAM: 20 feet (6.10 meters)
DRAUGHT: 19 feet (5.79 meters)
PROPULSION: Diesel-Electric Propulsion; Battery service for submerged travel; 1 x Shaft.
SPEED (SURFACE): 20 knots (23 miles-per-hour)
RANGE: 5,648 nautical miles (6,500 miles; 10,461 kilometers)

6 x Alenia Whithead Black Shark Torpedoes in bow tube launchers.
Aerospatiale SM39 Exocet anti-ship surface-to-surface missiles.


Detailing the development and operational history of the CS O'Higgins (SS23) Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine.  Entry last updated on 4/7/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ¬©
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.