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Back in the day I had a good deal to do with the Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile) in support of the ex RN ships which they bought from us.

In the late 1980s they had 4 County class Guided missile destroyers from us plus two Leander class frigates and two Oberon class diesel-electric submarines which they bought directly from British yards. The vagaries of the export licensing meant that while Pinochet was in power, we could cheerfully sell them guided missiles ( and 4.5 inch gun turrets) but not LandRovers or barbed wire....:-)

When they needed to replace the Oberons they bought German submarines.

The traditional links continue following their recent aquisition of three Type 23 frigates from the Royal Navy.

I was told that the Chilean Armed Forces had originally patterned themsleves on the best that were around at the time.

So the Navy was patterned on the RN, the largest, strongest and best equipped of the day.( as was the Imperial Japanese Navy )

The Chilean Army patterned itself on the Prussians - hence the coal scuttle helmets seen on Pinochet-era troops and a goosestepping parade march.


On Thursdays every Chilean Navy ship serves empanadas - small spicy cornish pasties.

In addition to the now world famous Chilean wines, a popular national drink is something called a 'Pisco Sour''s a bit like a Tequila slammer.

Word to the wise....never have more than three.....