The US Naval Institute reports the Chilean Navy is planning to upgrade three of their British Built Frigates, with Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) replacing their existing Sea Wolf weapon systems. Since ESSM was planned as a possible upgrade for the National Security Cutter, I thought the information might be of interest.
The US is providing the equipment under a Foreign Military Sales contract valued at $140.1M that will include three sets of Tactical Length Mk41 VLS (vertical launch systems), 33 Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSMs) Six Evolved Seasparrow Telemetry Missiles, “Ten (10) MK25 Quad Pack Canisters; Five (5) ESSM Shipping Containers; Five (5) MK-73 Continuous Wave Illumination Transmitters, One (1) Inertial Missile Initializer Power Supply (IMIPS); spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, technical assistance, installation and integration oversight support, logistics, program management, packaging and transportation.”
These figures include only the additional equipment. They do not include the yard work necessary to prepare the ship for installation and the installation of the equipment. Still I think this constitutes most of the cost of the upgrade of the three ships.
I would note that it is not clear how many VLS cells will be installed on each ship, but they are always installed in groups of eight. If we assumed eight cells on each ship, then each ship could theoretically support 32 missiles since they can be “quad packed,” that is four missiles can be placed in each cell. Chile is buying only 33 “war-shot” missiles and ten quad pack canisters. That is barely more than enough to fully arm one ship with eight cells, so it appears there will be some cells either left empty or filled with other types of weapons, which might include ASROC which also fit the tactical length Mk41 VLS.