Argentine Navy’s third new OPV launched

French defense contractor Naval Group has launched the third of the four offshore patrol vessels (OPV 87) ordered by the Argentine Navy.

The newbuild, OPV A.R.A. Storni was launched at Concarneau shipyard, Brittany, on May 10.

The launching came less than a month after Naval Group delivered the A.R.A Piedrabuena (P-52), the second offshore patrol vessel from the batch.

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This delivery is part of the contract signed by Naval Group with Argentina in 2018 to provide four multi-mission offshore patrol vessels.

The lead unit, A.R.A. Bouchard (ex-L’Adroit), was delivered in December 2019.

According to Naval Group, the third vessel of the series will offer the same assets and characteristics as the A.R.A. Piedrabuena. Better armed than the A.R.A. Bouchard, more motorized, equipped with an active stabilization system and a bow thruster, it is also “Ice proven”, i.e. adapted to navigation in the cold waters of Antarctica.

Jean-Claude Flandrin, Program Director, said: “The program continues to progress at a very steady pace, with the delivery on time of a vessel every six months, despite the global sanitary situation. The delivery of the A.R.A. Storni should take place in October this year, in line with the contract schedule.

The vessels built for Argentina measure 87 meters in length, displace 1,650 tons, and have a flight deck capable of accommodating a 10-ton helicopter. They will have increased autonomy due to an improved fresh water production capacity on board.