Naval Group has launched the fourth Gowind-class multi-mission offshore patrol vessel (OPV), ARA Contraalmirante Cordero, of the Argentine Navy.

As part of a contract signed in 2018, the company is constructing four OPVs for the service.

This contract includes the refurbishment of Naval Group-built OPV L’Adroit and three new-build vessels.

Naval Group Latin America sales vice-president Olivier Michel said: “We are delighted with the excellent cooperation that exists between the Argentine Navy, Naval Group and Kership on this programme.

“The vessels already delivered are currently in operation on an almost permanent basis and allow the Argentine Navy to carry out the operations essential to the defence of Argentina’s sovereign interests.

“We are delighted that this new unit will strengthen this operational capacity. Beyond this project, Naval Group remains fully mobilised to offer its solutions to the Argentine naval forces.”

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The OPVs are being built in France by Kership, a joint venture between Naval Group and Piriou.

Of the four vessels, ARA Bouchard (former L’Adroit) was delivered in December 2019 and the first of the three new-build vessels, ARA Piedrabuena, was delivered in April last year.

ARA Storni was launched in May and will be delivered next October, in line with the contract schedule, despite the ongoing pandemic.

Naval Group programme director Jean-Claude Flandrin said: “Benefiting from the innovations offered by Naval Group and proven by the French Navy, these four latest generation multipurpose vessels have been designed specifically for the needs of the Argentine Navy to enable crews to carry out their missions in optimal safety conditions.”

The 87m-long vessel has a displacement capacity of 1,650t, an endurance of more than 7,000nm, and a maximum speed of more than 20k.

It can accommodate 59 crew and passengers and comprises boarding capacity for two 9m light crafts and one 10t class helicopter.