ARA Granville (P-33)

ARA Granville (P-33) is a Drummond-class corvette of the Argentine Navy. She is named after Guillermo Enrique Granville, who fought in the Battle of Juncal against Brazil.

ARA Granville at Mar del Plata naval base in 2005
Namesake: Guillermo Enrique Granville
Operator:  Argentine Navy
Laid down: 1 December 1978[1]
Launched: 28 June 1980[1]
Commissioned: 22 June 1981[1]
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)[1]
Length: 80 m (260 ft)[1]
Beam: 10.3 m (34 ft)[1]
Draught: 3.55 m (11.6 ft)[1]
Installed power: 12,000 shp (8.9 MW)[1]
Propulsion:SEMT Pielstick 12 PC 2.2 V400 diesels, 2× CP propellers[1]
Speed: 23.3 knots (43 km/h)[1]
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,330 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h)[1]
Endurance: 15 days[1]
Complement: 5 officers, 79 enlisted, 95 berths[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Thales DRBV 51A air/surface search
  • Thales DRBC-32E fire control
  • Consilium Selesmar NavBat
  • Thales Diodon hull MF sonar[1]
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Thales DR 2000 S3
  • Thales Alligator 51 jammer
  • 2× Matra Dagaie decoys[1]
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.[2] According to reports in November 2012 the Drummond class “hardly sail because of lack of resources for operational expenses”.[3]

Service history

The first two ships of the Drummond class were built in 1977 in France for the South African Navy. The sale was embargoed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 418 during sea trials and the ships were sold to Argentina instead. A third ship was ordered and entered service as ARA Granville on 22 June 1981,[1] in time for the Falklands War the following year. There are minor differences in equipment fit compared to her sisters, for instance Granville has French Degaie decoys rather than the British Corvus chaff launchers.[1]

On 28 March 1982 she sailed with her sister ARA Drummond and took up station northeast of Port Stanley to cover the main amphibious landings on 2 April.[4] After the attack she operated north of the Falklands with her sister ships as Task Group 79.4, hoping to catch ships detached from the British task force.[5] On 29 April the corvettes were trailed by the submarine HMS Splendid whilst she was looking for the Argentine aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo, but they managed to outrun the British submarine.[6]

Granville carried the P-3 pennant number until the introduction of the Espora-class corvettes in 1985 when she became P-33. In 1994, Granville and her sisters participated in Operation Uphold Democracy, the United Nations blockade of Haiti. During this time, she was based at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico.[7]

According to British reports, in 1995 Granville "harassed" a number of trawlers around the Falklands and confronted and illuminated with her radar the British forward repair ship RFA Diligence.[8]


  1. Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15 ed.). Naval Institute Press. p. 9. ISBN 9781591149552.
  2. "La depredación del Mar Argentino". Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  3. "Argentine navy short on spares and resources for training and maintenance". MercoPress. 22 November 2012. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013.
  4. Freedman, Lawrence (2005). The Official History of the Falklands Campaign: The 1982 Falklands War and Its Aftermath. 2. Routledge. p. 7. ISBN 9780714652078.
  5. Freedman (2005), p. 272
  6. Freedman (2005), p. 274
  7. "con el propósito de asegurar el cumplimiento del embargo comercial, dispuesto por el Consejo de Seguridad, por medio de las corbetas ARA Grandville, ARA Guerrico y ARA Drummond". Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  8. Falkland Islands Information Portal – Time Line, by Jason Lewis. 28 November 2006

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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