Destroyer La Argentina was damaged when it rammed its bow against a jetty at the Punta Alta naval base while attempting to make it to the high seas. She is scheduled to join an international naval exercise in the Pacific and bring several helicopters on her return trip from Peru.
The destroyer, ARA D-11 La Argentina arrived to Buenos Aires in 1984 from Germany where she was built, belonging to a multipurpose MEKO class of destroyers. She was designed and built following a modules' blueprint which enables technological arms and systems' changes without affecting its operational capabilities. The MEKO class includes the MEKO 360, as the one incorporated by the Argentine navy, because of its 3.600 tons displacement.
The incident occurred last Friday and was confirmed this week by the Navy which said the vessel apparently suffered minor structural damage and there is an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.
According to naval sources the incident happened when the destroyer was involved in normal operations to abandon the port. It's not clear whether it suffered a propulsion failure or a bad maneuver, was the cause of the accident and the damage to the bow.
Furthermore when attempts to repair the damage with a welding equipment, a fire broke out. However repairs were finally completed and the destroyer La Argentina was able to leave for the Pacific for the planned international naval exercise. Other navy sources said the vessel had really left to pick up several helicopters to be incorporated by the Navy.