Argentina's Defense Minister Jorge Taiana and a team of top-ranking Navy officers are on a trip to Europe to hold talks with several shipyards for the purchase of a new submarine to replace the ARA San Juan, it was reported.
Five years after the sinking of the ARA San Juan in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean due to faulty maintenance, Taiana left for France and Germany this week to hold meetings with shipyard managers and also to discuss joint military cooperation in the face of the Ukrainian War context.
According to El Cronista, Taiana met in France with executives of the company Naval Group, in the city of Cherbourg, to know in detail the production of submarines and to analyze together with a team of specialists the capabilities of the Scorpion model, which is capable of launching torpedoes of various types and also cruise missiles, in addition to deploying sean mines.
It can also be fitted with air-independent propulsion, which gives it a submerged autonomy of a few weeks instead of a few days. The model is a modern version of the San Juan, according to experts, The naval forces of Chile and Brazil are already equipped with this type of vessel.
While in France, Taiana also met with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu, with whom he discussed the conflict in Ukraine among other global and bilateral topics. The Argentine Minister explained his country's policy under the National Defense Policy Directive and the FONDEF defense funding scheme.
In Germany, Taiana held meetings with the directors of Thyssenkrupp, a German multinational conglomerate focused on industrial engineering and steel production that builds submarines and is since the 1999 merger of Thyssen AG and Krupp and has its operational headquarters in Duisburg and Essen. He also met his local colleague Christine Lambrecht with whom he discussed bilateral relations, joint cooperation, and the war in Ukraine. At the same time, Taiana toured Thyssenkrupp.
The Defense Ministry intends to give a signal to both the Argentine military as well as to countries regarding the South Atlantic as a strategic space.
After the sinking of the ARA San Juan on November 15, 2017, where all 44 crew members died, Argentina was left without any seaworthy submarines. Repairing the ARA Santa Cruz was an option until experts concluded that it would cost about US$ 250 million and even in that case there would be no assurances that the vessel would be restored to perfect conditions, hence running the risk of yet another sinking.
Joining Taiana were Secretary of International Defense Affairs Francisco Cafiero; Argentine Navy Deputy Chief-of-Staff Vice Admiral Eduardo Traina and Tandanor Shipyards CEO Miguel Tudino. (Source: El Cronista)