Drummond-class corvette

The Drummond class are three corvettes designed and built in France based on the A69 D'Estienne d'Orves-class avisos. The ships were commissioned in the Argentine Navy between 1978 and 1982.

ARA Granville (P-33) in 2005
Class overview
Name: Drummond class
Builders: Arsenal de Lorient
Operators:  Argentine Navy
In service: 1978
Completed: 3
Active: 3
General characteristics
Type: 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: 2 × 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 × 18 Corvus decoys (P31/2)
  • 2 × Matra Dagaie decoys (P33)[1]
Armament:
Aviation facilities: small pad for VERTREP

The ships currently serve in the "Atlantic Area of Operations" of the Argentine Navy, based on Mar del Plata Naval Base, province of Buenos Aires. Their mission is to patrol Argentina's exclusive economic zone and to enforce fishing regulations, but according to reports in November 2012 they “hardly sail because of lack of resources for operational expenses”.[2]

Design

Although its designers consider the A69 D'Estienne d'Orves class to be avisos, Argentina classifies the ships as corvettes.

The Drummond-class ships are equipped mostly with German and Dutch electronic systems (instead of French)[3] for better compatibility with the two MEKO classes in Argentine service, and integrated with the indigenous "Miniaco" combat system.[4]

History

The first two ships of the 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 bought by Argentina instead on 25 September 1978.[1] 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 Dagaie decoys rather than the British Corvus chaff launchers.[1]

On 28 March 1982 Granville and Drummond sailed from Argentina and took up station northeast of Port Stanley to cover the main amphibious landings on 2 April.[5] Meanwhile, Guerrico covered the assault on South Georgia, sustaining significant damage from the Royal Marines in the process. After repairs she joined her sister ships north of the Falklands as Task Group 79.4, hoping to catch ships detached from the British task force.[6] 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.[7]

The Drummond class carried pennant numbers P-1 to P-3 until the introduction of the Espora-class corvettes in 1985 when they became P-31 to P-33. In 1994, they participated in Operation Uphold Democracy, the United Nations blockade of Haiti. During this time, they were based at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Puerto Rico.[8]

Specification

  • Displacement: 1,170 tons (empty); 1,320  tons (full load)
  • Length: 80 m (260 ft)[1]
  • Beam: 10.3 m (34 ft)[1]
  • Draught: 3.55 m (11.6 ft)[1]
  • Propulsion:
    • 2 shafts / propellers
    • 2 SEMT Pielstick 12 PC2.2 V 400 diesel engines, 12.000 shp (8.948 kW) tot.
    • Max shaft horsepower: n/a shp max
  • Speed: 23.3 knots (43 km/h)
  • Range: 4,500  nautical miles at 16 knots (30 km/h)
  • Armament
  • Aircraft: None
  • Complement: 95
  • Radar:
    • Air/Surface Search: Signaal DA08 (equipped with IFF).
    • Surface Search & helicopter control: Signaal ZW06.
    • Fire Control: Signaal STIR
    • Navigation: Decca TM 1226
  • Sonar: Thomson Sintra Diodon
  • Electronic Warfare:
    • Decoys: (no details available)
  • Datalink: (no details available)
  • Weapons Control System: Thomson-CSF System Vega, CSEE Panda MK2 director (optical), NASA director (optronic, for the 40 mm gun).
  • Concept/Program: French designed and built general purpose avisos (classified as "corvettes" by the Argentine navy).
  • Builder: n/a shipyard, Lorient, France.
  • Designer: n/a, France.

Ships in the class

References

Further reading

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