Argentine Navy ARA Piedrabuena (P-52) Offshore Patrol Vessel
Argentine Navy ARA Piedrabuena (P-52) Offshore Patrol Vessel

Argentine Navy ARA Piedrabuena (P-52) Offshore Patrol Vessel Enters Naval Service

Argentine Navy’s ARA Piedrabuena (P-52) enters naval service. The 2nd Argentinian Gowind-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) of the series is ice proven: specifically adapted to the navigation in Snowflake waters. This feature was specially added for the Argentinian Navy (Armada de la República Argentina, ARA) so that the ship can be used in support missions with the icebreaker Almirante Irizar. Piedrabuena was laid down in 2019 and launched on 1 October 2020 by DCNS in Lorient. The vessel began sea trials in March 2021. It was formally delivered to the Argentine Navy in April 2021.

After repeated negotiations and break-offs, in February 2018 the Argentine Navy was instructed to restart negotiations with Naval Group for the procurement of four Gowind-class vessels. The decision was motivated by the meeting between Argentine President Mauricio Macri and French President Emmanuel Macron at the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland. An order for four vessels was expected in July 2018. In November 2018, Argentina confirmed the purchase of four Gowind-class vessels. The purchase includes the already-built L’Adroit, which in 2016 visited the region on a marketing trip, and three new vessels.

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Argentine Navy ARA Piedrabuena (P-52) Offshore Patrol Vessel
Argentine Navy ARA Piedrabuena (P-52) Offshore Patrol Vessel

Gowind offshore patrol vessel (formerly L’Adroit) is a patrol vessel designed by the French company DCNS for maritime protection missions. She was originally part of the Gowind family of corvettes and patrol vessels but the less military members of the family like Bouchard have been moved into the Kership consortium. The design was self-funded by DCNS without an initial customer, and was initially leased to the French Navy as L’Adroit before being sold to the Argentine Navy in November 2018. The first vessel was commissioned as ARA Bouchard in December 2019.

The Gowind design is a family of steel monohull frigates, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels developed since 2006 by France’s Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, to conduct missions in littoral zone such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The Gowind family includes vessels with lengths from 85 to 111 metres (278 ft 10 in to 364 ft 2 in) and displacement from 1,000 tons to 3,100 tons.
The Gowind design can deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and underwater unmanned vehicles (UUVs).

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