Peru’s state-owned shipbuilder SIMA says it has started work on joining the two sections of Type 209/1200 submarine B.A.P. Chipana as part of an upgrade process that began in late 2017.
Chipana is the first of four submarines in its class set to undergo a substantial repair and upgrade program.
With the help of Germany’s thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, SIMA will now start welding the two submarine sections that have received new command and control, and propulsion systems.
The company said it expects to complete this procedure by March this year, which is in line with previous announcements, which said the boat would complete the modernization by the end of the year.
“These works are carried out in our Callao Operation Center, with the technical assistance of the German shipyard ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems TKMS, allowing us to incorporate new technologies and have highly trained personnel for the execution of these works that require high specialization,” SIMA said in a statement.
It remains unclear in what stages of upgrades the other three submarines in the class are.
Peru received four Type 209/1200 submarines, Chipana, Angamos, Antofagasta and Pisagua, from former HDW (Howaldtswerke- Deutsche Werft GmbH) in the 1980s. The country also operates two Type 209/1100 submarines, which were overhauled in 2008.