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Shipyard Minister Manuel Domecq Garcia Society Anonima
Astillero M.M. Domecq Garcia S.A
Astillero Ministro Manuel Domecq Garcia SA

At the beginning of 1982, the submarine force of the Argentina Navy was in a transition stage, with a well modest inventory but: single four units. Two of them were veteran submersibles of type GUPPY, of North American origin, constructed by the end of World War II and transferred to Argentina in 1971: the ALTAR Santiago of the Matting, that had exhausted its life utility and patiently waited for the its day end in the heat of some furnace of smelting, and its binocular, the ALTAR Santa Fe, still in good condition, but went through almost analogous difficulties.

By then, the replacement for these units, modern submarines were being constructed in Federal Germany Tr-1700 type, whereas in the country "SHIPYARD DOMECQ GARCIA" was inaugurated officially, an enormous plant with a staff of 1,100, thought to construct locally (never it would do it) several units more of this type.

Argentina's first submarines were ordered in the late 1920s from Italy, who built three submarines. Designated as the Sante Fe Class, they served in the fleet from 1932 to 1959. In 1960 the United States sold two Ballao class boats to Argentina, but they were not modified into the Guppy configuration. In 1971, though they were replaced by two U.S. made Guppy-type boats. In 1974, two German Type 209s (1200) were delivered and assemblied at Astilleros Domecq Garcia, Buena Aires. The Salta Class consisted of the Salta and San Luis. The Santa Fe was involved and eventually damaged during the Falklands Campaign. This submarine was the first in history to be defeated by ASW helicopters. The Guppys have been removed from the active list but, the fleet still consists of The Salta Class, two Type 209s (1700), and the Santa Cruz Class. Argentina is the only South American navy to have used their submarines in an armed conflict.

In the early 1990s, funding shortfalls led Argentina to suspend work on the two TR 1700 class submarines which were being built under license at Astilleros Domecq Garcia in Buenos Aires. The availability of these two units led to rumors that Taiwan might purchase them. However, in 1996, when the shipyard was sold the two submarines were 52% and 30% complete. Both units were cannibalized for spare parts for Argentina's two active duty TR 1700 class submarines.

When Japan was preparing feverishly for a showdown against the Baltic Fleet in the Russo-Japanese War, Argentina presented Japan with two cruisers Levadavia and Moreno, earning the nation's deep gratitude. These ships, renamed the Nisshin and the Kasuga, played a key role in the decisive May 1905 Battle of Tsushima, which sealed Japan's victory. Domecq Garcia, sent from Argentina as a military observer and later minister of the navy, was a key figure in the long history of Japanese-Argentine friendship.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:33:03 ZULU