Naval Group executed the contract to provide four OPV’s for the Argentine Navy, the agreement was reached on June 22nd, 2018. Funds are being provided and should begin the construction works for the vessels in the upcoming weeks. Three of these will be of new construction and one, in this case the L’Adroit prototype, refitted to argentine specs.
L’Adroit was privately funded by the former DCNS (now Naval Group), evaluated and operated by the French Navy from 2011 to 2018. Improvements required by the customer take focus on the propeller shaft and transmission will be made in Toulon, before delivery to the Argentine Navy. Also, changes will be made on replacing the current 20mm manual gun with a 30 mm remotely controlled stabilized gun and lighter caliber machine guns.
As for the three new OPV’s, their construction will take place in the Kership and Pirou shipyards of Lorient and Concarneau. These OPV will be 87 meters long and 14 meters wide, with a full load displacement of 1650 tonnes. Their bridge will be built around a Terma surveillance radar, includes two platforms to launch two 9 metrers RHIB’s on each side, a hangar for a 5 tonne helicopter and a reinforced platform up to 10 tonnes.
The main difference between L’Adroit and the rest of the class is a reinforced hull for antartic waters. Their autonomy is of 8000 miles at 12 knots with an improved capability at water production. These vessels will replace the A-69 corvettes, also adquired in France, in service in the Argentine Navy since 1978.