The Chilean Navy’s new Adelaide-class frigates’ transfer to Chile has been delayed because some of the Chilean crew’s Corona Virus tests resulted as positive. The Capitán Prat (ex-HMAS Newcastle FFG-06) and Almirante Latorre (ex-HMAS Melbourne FFG-05) are in Sydney now and waiting for her last 2 crews to take them home to Chile.
Chile reported the first cases of military servicemen infected with the coronavirus on 31 March.
The infected servicemen were six Chilean Navy personnel who arrived in Sydney, New South Wales, in early January. After being locally tested and proving positive for Covid-19, they are set to remain in isolation at their hotel until the second week of April, Chilean navy officials said
Chilean Navy acquired the former Adelaide Class frigates at the end of 2019. On December 27, 2019, it was announced that Australia had sold the Adelaide-class frigate’s, HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06) and HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) to Chile. After the training of the Chilean crew, it was planned to transfer to Chile.
The 4,267-tonne Australian frigates replaced two former Royal Netherlands Navy air defense frigates of the Jacob van Heemskerck class acquired in 2004 and retired in November 2019, known as the Latorre class in Chile.
Armed with SM-2MR Standard and ESSM surface-to-air missiles, the Australian-built, second-hand frigates will increase the range of the Chilean fleet’s air defenses substantially compared to the current capability.
HMAS Melbourne was decommissioned after 27 years of service with the Royal Australian Navy on 26 October, preceded by HMAS Newcastle on 30 June 2019.