The Chilean Navy will launch its surface fleet renewal program at the end of 2003 when a short list of two/three of the current eleven shipyards interested, will be chosen said Admiral Miguel Angel Vergara in Santiago.
The Commander of the Chilean Navy indicated that the Chilean government authorized the acquisition of three new frigates, one to be delivered at the latest in 2009, while the other two will have to be build in the local Navy yard of Talcahuano, and operational by 2011 and 2012.
However before the full instrumentation of the "Frigates Program", a "Bridge Program" has been advancing that includes the purchase of three second hand frigates with relative use, the first of which is the former HMS Sheffield to be delivered in the second half of 2003 with the name of "Admiral Williams".
As to the other two "there's no official resolution so far", said Admiral Vergara. The Chilean Navy surface fleet currently includes six units, all of which are well over twenty years old.