Submarines: Peruvian U-Boat Stalks the USN


July 16, 2009: For the fifth year, the U.S. Navy has trained with a diesel electric sub from a South American navy. This program, called DESI (Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative) hopes to eventually entice NATO navies to send one of their subs over for the exercise.

So far, DESI has provided 450 engagement days involving diesel electric subs maneuvering against American anti-submarine forces (air, surface and subsurface.) The exercises give the sub crews a realistic workout against the most modern ASW (anti-submarine warfare) equipment, and allows them to show how dangerous a diesel electric boat is when it's submerged and running on batteries. This year, the sub was the Peruvian Arica (SS-36). This is a German built Type 209, which is one of the more widely used diesel-electric subs in the world. The Arica displaces 1,300 tons, is 183 feet long, has eight torpedo tubes and carry 14 torpedoes and a crew of 36. The boat is 34 years old, but had a major overhaul in 1983-4.



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