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Argentine navy second state of the art OPV, launched in France

Monday, October 5th 2020 - 09:30 UTC
Full article 4 comments
OPV 87 Argentine Offshore Patrol Vessel ARA Piedrabuena. (Picture source Naval Group) OPV 87 Argentine Offshore Patrol Vessel ARA Piedrabuena. (Picture source Naval Group)

The Argentine navy second Ocean Patrol Vessel, OPV, named ARA Piedrabuena was launched last week in Piriou’s shipyards in Concarneau, France. This is the second of four OPVs acquired by the Argentine navy.

Signed on June 22nd, 2018 in Buenos Aires, the contract for the delivery of four multi-mission ocean patrol vessels for the Argentine Navy came into force on February 13th, 2019. This contract covers the delivery of L’Adroit – a vessel commissioned at the end of 2011 and operated by the French Navy before being modernized to become the A.R.A. Bouchard - as well as the construction of 3 new units with an enhanced design (known as OPV 87). The three new vessels are specially adapted to navigation in iced waters of the Southern Ocean, through reinforcement of their structure.

Naval Group is the Prime Contractor, in charge of the Program Management and the relationship with Argentina, of the general design work of the armed vessel as well as of all the studies, development and integration of the Polaris combat system.

”This project is a great pride for the Naval Group teams. We are proud of the successful collaboration with Piriou. This OPV meets all the expectations of the Argentine Navy. Her design has been specifically adapted for the navigation in the Southern Ocean.”, explained Olivier Michel, Naval Group Sales Vice-president for Latin America.

Involved in several military operations but also fisheries policy and maritime security missions, the Naval Group OPV’s design demonstrated its efficiency and the relevance of the innovations developed by Naval Group to serve navies and special forces.

The Argentine navy OPVs benefit from the innovations proposed by Naval Group and the sea-proven design operated by the French Navy, among which, a strong endurance and an excellent sea-worthiness; a 360° visibility from the bridge and a unique mast for a panoramic radar coverage; the discrete and safe implementation in less than five minutes of fast crafts for Special Forces thanks to an ingenious ramp system at the rear of the patroller;

This range of ships also benefits from Naval Group expertise in terms of information and commandment systems, allowing extended surveillance of the maritime space and the automatic detection of suspect behaviors thanks to the Polaris, a system specifically developed by Naval Group for state missions at sea that is sea-proven by the French Navy.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel is able to stay at sea for more than three weeks, to reach a speed of 20 knots and to accommodate a helicopter in its hangar. Operated by a reduced crew of forty members, she is also able to accommodate extra passengers.

Specifics, Length: 87 meters; Beam: 14 meters; Displacement: 1,650 tons; Max. speed: 20 knots; Accommodation: 59 (crew and passengers); Endurance: 7,000 nautical miles; Housing capacity: two light crafts of 9 meters and one 5-ton class helicopter.

Categories: Investments, Politics, Argentina.

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  • pgerman


    The purchase of the four OPVs was made through a loan from a French bank. In addition, the French Government intervened because they were very interested in carrying out this operation. I understand that payments are made between the shipyard and the bank. Surely the French Government is the guarantor.

    Argentina needs more high seas patrols. It should modernize, and transform, the three Class Type A-69 corvettes (also of French origin) into OPVs. France has 17 A-69 units in service. French technical expertise could be used to modernize them and simplify many functions (unnecessary for an OPV) so they are more economical to operate.

    Oct 06th, 2020 - 02:56 pm +2
  • Dirk Dikkler

    As Long as they only use them in there territorial waters and not try to enforce themselves on the Falklands Fisheries.

    Oct 06th, 2020 - 08:27 pm +1
  • Chicureo

    Argentina really needs a functional defense ability — but I wonder how the French actually believe they will receive their payment?

    Perhaps it can be wrote off as charity...

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    “Rudeness you've now painfully learned — does has its severe malicious consequences and payback is truly an evil bitch.” ~ Chicureo


    Oct 05th, 2020 - 03:23 pm 0
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