ARA Drummond (P-31)

ARA Drummond (P-31) is the lead ship of the Drummond class of three corvettes of the Argentine Navy. She is the second vessel to be named after Scottish-born Navy Sergeant Major Francisco Drummond.

ARA Drummond
 South Africa
Name: SAS Good Hope
Namesake: Cape of Good Hope
Ordered: February 1976[1]
Builder: Lorient, France
Laid down: 12 March 1976
Launched: 5 March 1977
Out of service: 17 November 1977
Fate: Delivery blocked by UNSCR 418 during sea trials in France
Renamed: ARA Drummond
Namesake: Francisco Drummond
Ordered: 1978
Commissioned: 9 November 1978
Homeport: Mar del Plata
Status: In active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Type A69 Drummond-class corvette
Displacement: 1,170 tons (1,320 tons full load)[2]
Length: 80 m (260 ft)[2]
Beam: 10.3 m (34 ft)[2]
Draught: 3.55 m (11.6 ft)[2]
Installed power: 12,000 shp (8.9 MW)[2]
Propulsion: 2 × SEMT Pielstick 12 PC 2.2 V400 diesels, 2 × CP propellers[2]
Speed: 23.3 knots (43 km/h)[2]
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,330 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h)[2]
Endurance: 15 days[2]
Complement: 5 officers, 79 enlisted, 95 berths[2]
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Thales DRBV 51A air/surface search
  • Thales DRBC-32E fire control
  • Consilium Selesmar NavBat
  • Thales Diodon hull MF sonar[2]
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Thales DR 2000 S3
  • Thales Alligator 51 jammer
  • 2 × 18 Corvus decoys[2]
Aviation facilities: small pad for VERTREP

She is currently based at Mar del Plata and conducts fishery patrol duties in the Argentine exclusive economic zone, where she has captured several trawlers in recent years.[3] According to reports in November 2012 the Drummond class "hardly sail because of lack of resources for operational expenses".[4]

Service history

Drummond was built in 1977 in France for the South African Navy to be named SAS Good Hope but was embargoed at the last minute by United Nations Security Council Resolution 418 over apartheid. The vessel was sold to Argentina instead and delivered on 9 November 1978.

She carried the pennant number P-1 until the introduction of the Espora-class corvettes in 1985 when she became P-31.

In 1982 she served with her sister ships in the Falklands War. On 7 October 1983, during a live fire exercise off Mar del Plata, she sunk the old destroyer Almirante Domecq Garcia with a MM38 Exocet missile.[5]

On 1994, from her temporary base at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, she participated on the blockade of Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy.[6]

She had also served as support ship of the Buenos Aires-Rio de Janeiro tall ships races.

HMS York incident

On 25 February 2010 the British tabloid The Sun reported that Drummond had been intercepted and shepherded away by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS York in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. The story was published in the middle of a diplomatic dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina about oil drilling, escalating the crisis as the "first head-to-head of the Falklands row".[7] The British Ministry of Defence quickly issued a denial. A spokesman said the incident had occurred a month earlier, before the oil dispute began; both ships were in the same zone in international waters during rough weather at night, and, after a friendly dialogue by radio, each had continued on its own exercise.[8][9][10][11]


Portions based on a translation from Spanish Wikipedia.

Further reading

  • Guia de los buques de la Armada Argentina 2005-2006. Ignacio Amendolara Bourdette, ISBN 987-43-9400-5, Editor n/a. (Spanish/English text)
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