The second Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ARA Piedrabuena built for the Argentinian Navy has entered the water for the first time. The vessel was capable of a variety of missions usually associated with offshore patrol of economic zones. This Offshore Patrol Vessel is similar to the ARA Bouchard ex-Adroit of the French Navy built by the French Company Naval Group. Naval Group has concluded a contract with Argentina to equip its Navy with four Offshore Patrol Vessels OPV 87 including L’Adroit. The ship was used by the French Navy (Marine Nationale) from 2011 to 2018, demonstrating the relevance and operational value of this new class of Offshore Patrol Vessels in theatres of operations.
L’Adroit was a Gowind-class patrol vessel specially designed by DCNS (now Naval Group) for maritime protection missions. L’Adroit has an overall length of 87 m, a beam of 13 m, and design draught of 3.3 m. Placed at the disposal of the French Navy by DCNS for a period of three years, L’Adroit sailed from its home base on France’s Mediterranean coast in May 2012 to conduct its first fishery policing and maritime security mission, including deployment for Operation Thon Rouge, monitoring fishing vessels with red tuna quotas for 2012. L’Adroit was sold to the Argentine Navy in November 2018. It was commissioned as ARA Bouchard in December 2019.
She has a 360° panoramic bridge and an integrated mast. The minimal superstructure of the ship leaves a substantial space available for air operations (helicopters, UAVs) and for launch and recovery of surface assets (RHIBs or USVs). L’Adroit’s missions are managed by a combat system, which supplies essential detailed information on the ship’s environment, acquired by various detectors, deployed sensors and other ships integrated into the surveillance network. The mission system can also include a maritime surveillance system capable of detecting suspicious course profiles automatically.