Minister of Defense Vivianne Blanlot welcomed a new addition this week to Chile's submarine fleet at the port city of Cartagena in southern Spain.
The "Carrera," the second of two Scorpion model units, will be the first to carry the name of illustrious Jose Miguel Carrera, a general considered to be one Chile's founding forefathers.
Blanlot arrived Wednesday in Madrid for the ceremony, accompanied by Ambassador Osvaldo Puccio and Admiral Rodolfo Codina. She was met by Spain's Minister of Defense Jose Antonio Alonso Suarez, and subsequently received by King Juan Carlos at the national palace.
The representatives from both countries agreed to work together on defense issues, such as the modernization of the military, participation in "Operations of Peace," and the organic reconstruction of their respective ministries.
Blanlot and her party then traveled to Cartagena, where they received the SS-2 "Carrera," constructed jointly with the SS-1 "O'Higgens," baptized on November 24, 2005. Weighing 1,600 tons, it is the seventeenth submarine the Chilean Armada has acquired since 1917.
At the start of the Great War, England bought two battleships (Latorre and Cochrane) that Chile had ordered to be made in 1910. In 1916, after multiple attempts, Chile finally succeeded in acquiring five submarines at no cost from London. These units were of the Holland model, and had been constructed in the shipyards of the Fore River in the then neutral United States.
In addition to these five, Chile bought a sixth unit, and sent personnel to the U.S. for training when in April 1917 the U.S. government declared war on the Central Powers and threatened to call back the submarines.
On July 4 of that same year, to avoid problems and to take advantage of the long-established holiday in the U.S., the Armada authorized its marines to enter the port and hoist their national banner from the six Holland type subs. These submarines were later able to make their way home to Chile at the beginning of 1918, before the end of the war.
With the arrival of the "O" units between 1929 and 1958, Chile had the strongest fleet of submarines in the entire region. By: Nura Sadeghpour The Santiago Times - News about Chile