MEKO 140

The MEKO 140 is a frigate design by the German Blohm + Voss shipyard as part of the MEKO family of vessels. The MEKO 140 is development of the Portuguese Navy's João Coutinho class corvettes - designed by the Portuguese naval engineer Rogério de Oliveira in the late 1960s - three ships of which were built Blohm + Voss in 1970, as an outsourcing.

ARA Robinson (P-45) frigate (classified by the Argentine Navy as “corvette”)
Class overview
Builders: AFNE “Río Santiago”
Operators:  Argentine Navy
Subclasses: Espora
In service: 1985
Completed: 6
Active: 6
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,790 tons
Length: 91.2 m
Beam: 11.1 m
Draught: 4.5 m
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 4,000 nautical miles (7,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 100
Aircraft carried: 1 helicopter

Concept and development

MEKO is a concept in modern naval shipbuilding based on modularity of armament, electronics and other equipment, aiming at ease of maintenance and cost reduction. Vessels of similar classes can use different weapons systems, as required by the customer.

The MEKO 140 was designed in the late 1970s, and was chosen by the Argentine Navy to complement the MEKO 360 destroyers.


Six vessels of the MEKO 140 A16 variant were constructed in Argentina by the Río Santiago Shipyards (AFNE) near La Plata for the Argentine Navy. They are locally named as the Espora class and currently serve in the High Seas Fleet (“Flota de Mar”).

Although considered by its designers to be frigates, the Espora class vessels have been classed in Argentina as corvettes.

See also

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