In April 2007, the Chilean Navy commissioned into service CN Almirante Riveros (FF-18), a then-modern 3,300 ton multi-mission frigate. The warship is the former Dutch Navy's HNLMS Tjerk Hiddes of the Karel Doorman-class which began construction in October 1986, was launched in December of 1989, and entered commissioned service with the Royal Dutch Navy in February 1993. In this guise, the ship sailed until decommissioned in February 2006, ultimately being sold off to Chile along with HNLMS Abraham van der Hulst (F832) - the latter becoming CN Almirante Blanco Encalada (FF-15) in 1993.
CN Almirante Riveros remains in active service with the Chilean Navy as of this writing (December 2021). In her original form, she was constructed by the shipbuilders of Koninklijke Schelde Groep of Vissingen in Southwest Netherlands. Most of her time was spent in support of Dutch Navy actions around the Atlantic and Caribbean, eventually becoming a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2014) following the events of 9/11.
The service currently (2021) fields eight total frigates covering multi-mission, anti-submarine, and anti-aircraft roles. The oldest unit is Almirante Williams, formerly of the British Royal Navy, commissioned in 1988. Almirante Riveros is the newest addition to the force in being commissioned in 2007, two years after Blanco Encalada and both homeport out of Valparaiso.
Riveros displaces 3,320 tons and has an overall length of 401 feet, a beam of 47 feet, and a draught of 14 feet. The shallow draught allows for close-to-shore operations. Power is provided by 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey 1A series gas turbines outputting 16,700 horsepower each coupled to 2 x Stork-Werkspoor diesel units of 4,895 horsepower each. These are used to drive 2 x Shafts under stern allowing the vessel to hit speeds of nearly 30 knots. The propulsion scheme is arranged in CODOG - COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas - to ensure maximum fuel efficiency for the desired action (fast dash actions or general cruising).
Aboard is a crew of 174 personnel while an air arm detachment can operate a navy helicopter from the stern-based helipad. An attached hangar allows for at-sea support of the rotary-wing system.
As a multi-mission frigate, Riveros carries a broad armament set that includes ballistic and missile weapons. This is led by the 76mm OTO-Melara turreted deck gun over the forecastle. A single Goalkeeper system supplies point-defense against aerial threats and the vessel is further equipped with 4 x 324mm Mk.32 torpedo tubes (Mark 46 torpedo family) to counter surface and undersea ocean threats. The onboard helicopter can also support Anti-Ship and Anti-Submarine Warfare (AS&ASW) actions as well as provide Over-the-Horizon (OtH) and at-sea resupply assistance.
Structurally, the warships are rather anachronistic as modern frigates go: inherent stealth features are not obvious in the hull design due to the ship's origination in the latter Cold War period with the Dutch. The turreted deck gun is given acceptable engagement angles from the forecastle and the bridge section sits atop its usual place at the forward hull superstructure. The main mast is integrated to the bridge section though the component is of the exposed kind. The smoke funnels are of a low-profile, enclosed design and sit at midships. A second hull superstructure is noted aft containing other prominent sensors and processing systems. This section also houses the helicopter hangar and its inherent support facilities. The hangar leads out to the unobstructed helipad over the stern.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
✓Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
Vessel's hull design is such that it can operate in close-to-shore / shallow water environments.
Onboard systems alert and protect the vessel from airborne, low-flying airborne threats through ballistic and / or missile weaponry.
An Over-the-Horizon operational capability is granted to the vessel, typically through launched fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft.
Ability to launch torpedoes against ocean-going targets.
401.1 ft 122.26 m
47.1 ft 14.36 m
14.0 ft 4.27 m
CODOG (COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas): 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey 1A gas turbines developing 16,700 horsepower with 2 x Stork-Werkspoor diesel engines developing 4,895 horsepower; 2 x Shafts.
29.0 kts (33.4 mph)
4,345 nm (5,000 mi | 8,047 km)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
1 x 76mm OTO-Melara turreted deck gun.
1 x Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
4 x 324mm Mk.32 torpedo launchers (Mark 46 torpedo family).
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1 x Navy helicopter operated / supported through the stern-based helipad / hangar sections.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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