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LSDH 91 Sargento Aldea

In a solemn ceremony held on 25 December 2011 at the Naval Base of Toulon, located in the Mediterranean Sea, took place the hoisting of the national flag in the amphibious assault ship LSDH "Sergeant Aldea", acquired unit to the Marine Nationale of France, where he served with the name of TCD "Foudre". The ceremony was headed by the Force Commander of French Naval action, Squadron Vice Admiral Xavier Magne, the Ambassador of Chile in France, Jorge Edwards, and the Director General of the services of the Navy of Chile, Rear Admiral Cristian de la Maza, in addition to members of senior French and Chilean. This unit will allow Chile to recover operational capabilities that momentarily, it had lost with the decline of the LST "Valdivia", in January 2011.

The case for procuring a pair of LPDs had been reinforced by a series of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami that have affected Chile since 2007. Chile’s 2010 earthquake further underlined the importance of being able to deliver aid by sea. Those emergencies called for mass evacuations and the transporting of large amounts of aid. The acquisition of the LPDs would also increase Chile's power-projection capabilities and would parallel an expansion of the country's marine infantry force from its current strength of 3,000 to 5,000.

In 2010 the Navy Commander-in-Chief said explicitly that the Navy was evaluating four options: the Italian San Giorgio and Aan Giusto, the Frenach Foudre and Sirocco, Singapore's Endurance class, and the British Bay class. At that time the plan would be to purchase a new or used vessel within the next 5 years [that is, by 2015], according to bids and offset of the shipyards, recalling that it seeks a strategic partner for ASMAR.

By late 2010, according to statements at the opening of the Expo Naval in Valparaiso, the Navy had decided to replace the VALDIVIA since this ship needed repairs at a cost of US$15,000,000. In November 2010 it was reported that Admiral Edmundo Gonzalez, commander-in-chief of the Chilean Navy, confirmed the service's interest in acquiring a pair of landing platform dock (LPD) - type amphibious ships. The first of what ADM Gonzalez described as a "multipurpose transport ship" was expected to be procured by 2012, with a second vessel to be added later.

Over the longer term, the 1,400t LST-92 Rancagua and LST-95 Chacabuco will also need to be retired and replaced. One obvious option for Chile will be FS Sirocco, Foudre’s sister ship, which was commissioned in 1998. The French authorities indicated that Foudre's sister ship Siroco (L9012), will also subsequently be sold and that Chile could be given first option to acquire her. Italy has suggested that one of its San Giorgio-class ships will be available for transfer in 2014, followed by a sister ship between 2016 and 2017.

According to ADM Gonzalez, options for the procurement of the second LPD were open and an order for a newly built ship has not been ruled out. Various shipbuilders have expressed an interest in building tailored to Chilean Navy ships requirements, including Spain's Navantia, France's DCNS, Fincantieri of Italy, TKMS of Germany and South Korea's Daewoo.

LSHD 'Sergeant Aldea' was commissioned in 1990 in the Marine Nationale of France under the name of TCD "Foudre". In the French Navy efficiently fulfilled a multitude of missions of humanitarian support in times of peace, transportation and deployment of military means in various operations of pacification in Europe, Africa and Asia. Its new name in our Navy pays homage to one of the great Chilean naval heroes, the Sergeant Juan de Dios Aldea Fonseca, who during the Naval Battle of Iquique on May 21, 1879, jumped to the approach of the Huascar following Arturo Prat, resulting in serious injury, a result of which he died three days later.

As a vessel for humanitarian missions, it can carry up to 1,600 passengers in cases of emergency, and in order to be able to perform functions of this type account currently with hospital equipment for medical missions to large-scale and evacuation missions. In this sense, the hospital that the ship is equipped with has an area of 500 square meters, implemented with 51 beds, 2 rooms operations, a dental clinic, x-ray room, laboratory of biology and treatment for burn room.

In order to prepare the ship for its full integration into the Navy of Chile, is had been incorporating progressively Chilean crew members. In November, a group of 22 officers and seafarers, under the command of the first Chilean Commander of the vessel Navio Daniel Coca Herrera's captain, joined the French crew in the last operation of the vessel under the gala flag, on the coasts of Africa, in order to internalize the operation of the ship before going on to train new members of the service.

In relation to this milestone the Commander in Chief of the Navy Admiral Edmundo Gonzalez Robles - who was not present at the event, but so did in the month of November when the signing of the agreement in Paris - was carried out said that "more than a new acquisition, what we are doing in conjunction with the Ministry of defence is recover the capacity that we had lost with the retirement of the ship "Valdivia" after 15 years of service.

"This ship came just to replace a capability that we had lost, therefore we are not acquiring a new ship, but recovering one". The history of transfer dates back to the month of November of the year 2010, with the first official request from the Government of Chile through the Ministry of defence. After intense meetings with date 21 November 2011 of Defence Ministers from the Governments of France and Chile, signed the letter of intent of transfer of TCD Foudre, with which both Governments took a fundamental step to finalize the permanent transfer of the vessel.

Admiral González added that "with respect to the vessel itself, the LSDH"Sargento Aldea", comes to meet operational capabilities that we had not covered as they are given a ship of these characteristics, capable of being able to embark on a single trip, for example, to the entire population of Chaiten or Juan Fernández it happened if a natural catastrophe like that we have had to face." This ship will be a prominent role in everything regarding the support to isolated areas and support for the community, a role that has been accomplishing permanently and sustained the Navy of Chile and with the now "Sargento Aldea" can provide greater support and assistance to our island Territories."

The highest authority of the Navy also stressed the importance that will ship in the area of national defense: "also will meet a concrete military role as it is to provide the forces of Marines and the army's fast, efficient, modern transport with sweeping transport capacities not only human but that material. Therefore the Navy and the country regain an important maritime mobility capacity and above all allow to act more quickly and in a single movement with all the human and technological resources to assist isolated or threatened by a natural disaster community", he emphasized.

Ship List
Name # Port Laid
Launch Comm Decomm Notes
LSDH 91 Sargento Aldea 1990 2011 TCD "Foudre"

Displacement, full 12,000 tons
Displacement, light tons
GT (Gross Tonnage) tons
NT (Net Tonnage) tons
DWT (Deadweight) tons
Length, O/A168 meters / feet
Length, W/L meters / feet
Length, B/P meters / feet
Max Beam23.5 meters / feet
Draft5.2 meters / feet
Height meters / feet
Propulsion Type Motors diesel
Engines SEMT Pielstick
Number of Main Engine(s) 2
Main Engine builder
Main Model
Main RPM
Main power 15 290 kW
Speed, maximum20 knots
Speed, Cruise Knots
Range 11,000 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots
Stores endurance days
Electronics System system and satellite Syracuse interservices (RITA)
Weapons Systems
  • 2 ramps missile double Mistral [??]
  • 3 cannons of 30 mm,
  • 4 machine guns of 12.7 mm
  • Aviation 4 Super Pumas or 2 Frelons
    three helicopters on its flight deck and hangar
    Complement224 (19 officers)




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    Page last modified: 04-12-2012 19:02:19 ZULU