Brazil will be supplying the Argentine navy with four IKL German manufactured submarines, two at a time, which are in need of repair and refurbishment before they become operational, and also help with the training of personnel for the vessels.
This is the result of ongoing talks between the ministries of defense from both countries and was officially stamped among the many agreements signed by the Brazilian president Jair Bolosonaro, and his several ministers delegation with their counterparts and hosts from Argentina, according to a report credited to Martin Dinatale, who usually publishes good diplomatic and defense data.
The military chapter of the long list of agreements was signed by Argentine defense minister Oscar Aguad and his Brazilian counterpart Fernando Azevedo e Silva. Item G states that both countries will deepen cooperation in the area of conventional submersibles, including the possibility of repairing, maintenance and construction, and the possibility of transferring the IKL submarines from the Brazilian to the Argentine navy“
The idea is that these German technology submarines can be repaired and updated at Argentina's Tandanor dry dock, which normally does most of the maintenance of the Argentine surface fleet, icebreaker and other vessels.
Mr. Dinantale reports that minister Aguad personally thanked president Bolsonaro during a Brazil/Argentine defense industry seminar held at the Brazilian embassy in Buenos Aires.
”We are advancing significantly with Brazil in defense issues, the idea of integration goes beyond the classic customs, tariffs commitment. Today we ensured a very important step in regional integration, in defense, and our jumping board and strength is trust, trust among our forces which makes it so much easier to advance at a quick pace“, said minister Aguad.
This means that the three branches of the Armed Forces from the two countries will share research, development of technologies and its implementation in defense systems.
In the framework of the combined cooperation in surveillance and control of the South Atlantic, Argentina will benefit with the transfer of the IKL German built submarines, currently non operational.
”The idea is to have a real joint cooperation control in the South Atlantic and the transfer of these submarines from Brazil is part of the agreement signed as well as training military staff“, added minister Aguad.
The electric-diesel ”Tupi” class IKL-209/1400 submarines according to the report have a capacity of 480 batteries, which is half of what the lost ARA San Juan had or the surviving ARA Santa Fe has, but the Argentine defense ministry would like to see them in Tandanor before the end of the year, helping the Argentine navy recover its lost presence in the South Atlantic. (IKL, stands for Ingenieur Kontor Lubeck).
Argentina and Brazil started talking about defense cooperation and integration some fifteen months ago, but the discussions became reality with the signing of the joint documents and hopefully ensuring the submarines arrive in the second half of the year.
However, according to Dinatale, Tandanor chief Jorge Arosa was not so convinced, and he reported it in a hearing to the Lower House defense committee, since the Brazilian IKL subs are half as powerful as the lost ARA San Juan, and there is no idea of the true cost of repairing and refurbishing them
Anyhow despite Mr Arosa's objections, Defense and the Argentine admirals are most enthusiastic about the transfer of submarines from Brazil and are already planning trips to Brasilia and Rio to have a better idea of the conditions of the IKLs.
“This is a very significant step in the process for an effective strategic cooperation between both countries, Brazil and Argentina must work together to exploit their capacities and potential in the industrial and technology areas”, minister Azevedo concluded at the closing of the seminar at the Brazil embassy in Buenos Aires.