VESSEL REVIEW | Contraalmirante Cordero – Argentine Navy to operate new patrol vessel on border and fisheries enforcement

Photo: Argentine Navy

The Argentine Navy commissioned its newest offshore patrol vessel (OPV) into service on April 11, 2022, shortly following its arrival from France.

ARA Contraalmirante Cordero (“Rear Admiral Cordero”) is the final one of four Kership-class OPVs ordered by Argentina from French shipbuilder the Naval Group. The ship honours Rear Admiral Bartolome Leonidas Cordero, a famed Argentine naval officer who saw action during the Argentine and Uruguayan Civil Wars in the 1850s.

Like the other Kership-class ships in Argentine service, Cordero was built by the Kership joint venture formed by the Naval Group and compatriot shipyard Piriou as a variant of the Gowind-class guided missile corvettes. Unlike the standard Gowind vessels, the Kerships are lightly armoured and lack guided missile armament while retaining the same overall design and dimensions of the original class. With armament being limited only to a Leonardo 30-millimetre naval gun and two 12.7-millimetre machine guns, the Kerships in Argentine service are better suited for less demanding maritime security missions such as border patrols and fisheries enforcement.

Photo: Argentine Navy

The all-steel ship has a length of 87 metres, a beam of 11 metres, and a draught of 3.3 metres. A combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) arrangement consisting of two Anglo Belgian Corporation 16DZC diesel engines that each produce 5,600 kW at 1,000 rpm propels the ship to speeds of up to 21 knots. A cruising speed of 12 knots will meanwhile enable the ship to sail for up to 14,800 kilometres, or spend up to 30 days out at sea. An ice-capable hull enables the OPV to operate safely in Antarctic waters.

The vessel is fitted with an active stabilisation system, a bow thruster, and a bridge that offers 360-degree visibility. The electronics suite includes a Naval Group tactical data link system, a Thales ESM/communications intelligence system, two Terma search radars, a Sagem electro-optical multi-sensor system, and a LINKSrechts LED system that provides a visual aid for helicopter pilots when landing aboard the ship’s aft flight deck at night or in bad weather.

The radars and other sensors were placed on the ship’s prominent central mast to ensure a full coverage of 360 degrees. This will result in an improvement in its capability to detect potential threats. For additional protection, the vessel features a decoy launching system from Lacroix Defense and Security.

The OPV also has a flight deck with hangar that can house a five-tonne helicopter or an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of equal or lower displacement, and twin stern ramps for launching and recovering two nine-metre rigid inflatable boats laden with special operations troops.

Accommodations are available for 40 crewmembers and 20 additional personnel.

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on maritime security vessels.

Contraalmirante Cordero
Type of vessel:Offshore patrol vessel
Owner:Argentine Navy
Designer:Naval Group, France
Builder:Kership, France
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Steel
Deck construction material:Steel
Length overall:87 metres
Beam:11 metres
Draught:3.3 metres
Main engines:2 x Anglo Belgian Corporation 16DZC, each 5,600 kW at 1,000 rpm
Maximum speed:21 knots
Cruising speed:12 knots
Range:14,800 kilometres
Radars:2 x Terma
Other electronics:Thales ESM/COMINT system; Naval Group tactical data link; Sagem electro-optical multi-sensor system
Armaments:Leonardo naval gun, 30 mm; 2 x machine guns, each 12.7 mm
Other equipment installed:Active stabilisation system; 2 x stern launching/recovery ramps; Lacroix Defense and Security decoy launching system; LINKSrechts helicopter visual aid landing system
Tenders:2 x rigid inflatable boats
Type of fuel:Diesel
Operational area:Argentina

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