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Santa Cruz class

Patrol submarine

Santa Cruz class submarine

The Santa Cruz class diesel-electric patrol submarine is still a highly effective design

 
 
Entered service 1984
Crew 29 men
Diving depth (operational) 270 m
Diving depth (maximum) ?
Sea endurance 30 - 70 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 66 m
Beam 7.3 m
Draught 6.5 m
Surfaced displacement 2 116 tons
Submerged displacement 2 264 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 15 knots
Submerged speed 25 knots
Diesel engines 4 x 6 705 hp
Electric motors 1 x 8 850 hp
Armament
Torpedoes 6 x 533-mm bow tubes for 22 torpedoes
Other up to 34 mines in place of torpedoes

 

   Currently the most important submarines of the Argentine navy. The two Santa Cruz class diesel-electric boats are the result of a somewhat chequered early history. In November 1977 the Argentine navy contracted with Thussen Nordseewerke for the building of two TR 1700 type submarines in West Germany and the provision of parts and supervision for the manufacture of four more boats in Argentina at the Astilleros Domecq Garcia facility in Buenos Aires.

   As the Argentine navy's plan was originally conceived, the boats to be built in Argentina were to have been two more TR 1700 type submarines and two examples of the somewhat smaller TR 1400 type. In 1982, however, the contract details were finalised for a class of six TR 1700 type submarines and no TR 1400 type units.

   The two boats built in West Germany are the Santa Cruz and San Juan, which were laid down in December 1980 and March 1982, launched in September 1982 and June 1983, and commissioned in October 1984 and November 1985 respectively. There were problems with the four boats to be built in Argentina, however, for in 1996, when the initial pair of submarines, destined for completion as the Santa Fe and Santiago del Estero, were 52 and 30 per cent complete respectively, work ended. In February of that year the dockyard was sold, and what had been completed of the two boats was cannibalized to aid in the maintenance of the two West German-built boats. The same fate befell the equipment delivered from West Germany for the last two boats that were to have been built in Argentina but were not, in the even, even laid down.

   The TR 1700 type was of notably advanced concept for its time, and offered both a high underwater speed and a considerable operational diving depth. The standard endurance is 30 days, but the maximum figure is believed to be 70 days. An automatic reloading system is provided for the torpedo tubes, this system performing the reloading of the torpedo tubes in just 50 seconds. The boats also have the capability to carry and land small parties of commando troops for special forces missions.

   Both the Santa Cruz and San Juan are based at Mar del Plata, which is the home of the Argentine navy's small submarine force. Between September 1999 and 2001 the Santa Cruz received a mid-life update at a Brazilian yard, and a similar update is planned for the San Juan at Puerto Belgrano in Argentina as and when the Argentine economy makes this feasible. The upgrade involves, among other things, the replacement of the submarine's main motors and the updating of the sonar system's active/passive search and passive ranging units.

   The torpedoes carried by the TR 1700 type submarines are German SST-4 and US Mk 37 wire-guided types with swim-out discharge. The former carries a 260-kg warhead to a distance of 12 or 28 km at 35 or 23 km, and the latter delivers a 150-kg warhead to 8 km at 24 kts.

 

 

 
Santa Cruz class

Santa Cruz class

Santa Cruz class

Santa Cruz class

Santa Cruz class

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