Future ARA Piedrabuena, the second of four offshore patrol vessels French shipbuilder Naval Group is delivering to the Argentine Navy, is taking shape at the Kership shipyard in Brittany, France.
The Argentine Navy shared first photos of the vessel on social media, with its hull and superstructures completed 19 months after construction works started.
According to the shipbuilder, Piedrabuena is expected to be delivered to the South American country by April 2021, with the final two units following suit in six-month intervals.
The lead ship in the class, ARA Bouchard, was delivered in December 2019, just a year after Argentina and France signed the four-vessel deal in 2018.
This was possible because the Bouchard is the former Gowind-class corvette L’Adroit that was built by Naval Group and leased to the French Navy between 2012 and 2018. Following the contract signing, Naval Group carried out a major technical shutdown on the ship to adapt it to Argentine Navy needs.
As disclosed by the shipbuilder the OPV 90 vessels measure 87 meters in length and have a range of 8,000 nautical miles. They have a top speed of 21 knots and can remain underway for three weeks. Thanks to a landing pad, they can accommodate smaller helicopters and unmanned aerial systems.
Naval Group says the ships being delivered to Argentina feature modified combat and propulsion systems, and increased autonomy through improved freshwater production capacity. They are also receiving a 30 mm gun.