U.S. Military Support to Argentina Submarine Search

The United States supported operations assisting the search for the Argentine submarine A.R.A. San Juan in the South Atlantic in late 2027, as requested by the government of Argentina. At its height, U.S. contributions to the search and rescue effort included three advanced aircraft, over 200 search and rescue personnel, four submersibles, one specialized underwater rescue unit, one ship, and more than 400 sonar buoys dropped in support of the operation.

Latest Imagery from Argentina Sub Support

Overview of U.S. Military Support

Updated Dec. 27, 2017

Recent Support

(See US Adjusts Support to ARA San Juan Search Operations Press Release)

R/V Atlantis, an oceanographic research ship under charter with the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, took part in the search. The ship brought advanced precision navigation, seafloor mapping sonar and satellite communications to the effort.

The U.S. Navy deployed the Cable operated Unmanned Recovery Vehicle (CURV) 21 to support search efforts onboard R/V Atlantis. The CURV-21 is a 6,400-pound Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that is designed to meet the U.S. Navy's deep ocean salvage requirements down to a maximum depth of 20,000 feet of seawater.

Previous Support

(See Transition to Search and Recovery Press Release)

From Nov. 17 - 30, two U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft assisted in search efforts. The P-8A is the Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft and is configured with state-of-the-art sensors and communications equipment, allowing it to support a wide range of missions over large bodies of water, including sub-surface search-and-rescue operations.

From Nov. 18 - 30, two independent rescue assets from URC were deployed to assist:

  • The Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and underwater intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The SRC is a McCann rescue chamber designed during World War II and still used today. SRC can rescue up to six persons at a time and reach a bottomed submarine at depths of 850 feet.
  • The Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) and supporting equipment. The PRM can submerge up to 2,000 feet for docking and mating, with a submarine settled on the ocean floor up to 45-degree angle in both pitch and roll. The PRM can rescue up to 16 personnel at a time.

The U.S. Navy also deployed unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) to join in the search. The equipment consisted of one Bluefin 12D (Deep) UUV and three Iver 580 UUVs, which are operated by the U.S. Navy’s recently-established Unmanned Undersea Vehicle Squadron 1, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.