The Argentine Navy took delivery of its second offshore patrol vessel, the OPV 87 A.R.A. Piedrabuena, from French shipbuilder Naval Group on April 13.
While Piedrabuena is the second of four ships to be delivered, it is actually the first newly-built unit in the class. The lead ship that was delivered last December, A.R.A. Bouchard, was previously known as L’Adroit and was used by the French Navy between 2012 and 2018.
Commenting the delivery on Tuesday, Naval Group said the program keeps progressing as scheduled and will continue at a pace of one delivery every six months.
The 44-person crew from the Argentine Navy that assumed command of the ship was previously trained in the operation and maintenance of the vessel by teams from Naval Group and Kership, a joint-venture between Piriou and Naval Group.
This second patrol vessel of the series offers the same assets and features as the first one, with some of them reinforced to meet the South American navy’s needs. Better armed and 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.
The 87-meter ships displace 1,650 tons and have a maximum stated speed of 21 knots. They have a flight deck that accommodates 5-ton helicopters and can deploy two RHIBs. The OPVs are armed with the Leonardo-built Marlin 30 mm weapon station.