Naval Group launched last of the four Offshore Patrol Vessel 87 (OPV 87) ordered by the Argentinean Navy (Armada de la República Argentina), the A.R.A. Contraalmirante Cordero, this Tuesday 21 September in Concarneau. This launch is part of the contract signed by Naval Group with Argentina in 2018 to provide four multi-mission offshore patrol vessels. A.R.A. Bouchard (ex-L’Adroit) had been delivered in December 2019 and A.R.A. Piedrabuena on 13 April 2021. A.R.A. Storni was launched on 10 May 2021 and will be delivered next October, in accordance with the original contractual schedule and despite the global health situation.
The last Offshore Patrol Vessel 87 (OPV 87) of the series will offer the same assets and characteristics as the A.R.A. Piedrabuena and Storni. It benefits from an optimised motorised system, an active stabilisation system and a bow thruster. It is also “Ice proven”, i.e. adapted to navigation in the cold waters of Antarctica. The Argentinean Offshore Patrol Vessels benefit from innovations developed by Naval Group and sea proven by the French Navy, which has operated L’Adroit in several oceans for six years for multiple maritime security operations. The A.R.A. Contraalmirante Cordero is equipped with the Polaris system and NiDL tactical data link system.
The Offshore Patrol Vessel 87 class is a range of steel monohull offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built by Kership, a joint venture of French civil shipbuilder Piriou (55%) and Naval shipbuilder DCNS (45%). The ships were originally part of the Gowind class but after a rearrangement of products DCNS decided to remove the OPV from the Gowind class and develop the OPVs as a class of their own with L’Adroit top of the range. In November 2018, Argentina confirmed the purchase of four Offshore Patrol Vessel 87. The purchase includes the already-built L’Adroit, which in 2016 visited the region on a marketing trip, and three new vessels.
The Offshore Patrol Vessel 87 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). OPV 87’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.