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Navy History

The names of the Argentine ships military constitute a naval tradition. She those of San Martín and Brown have been used twelve times to baptize ships, so many as of dates of the country: 25 of May. Those of Freedom and Independence shone in the sterns nine times each one; eight times the date of 9 of Julio and six times the one of General Belgrano.

The navy benefited from the procurement and modernization program of thelate 19th Century. The principal mission of the navy until the 1870s had remained the transport of troops and military supplies and, to a lesser extent, the patrolling of the country's inland waterways. During this decade the first efforts were made to develop a seagoing navy that was capable of patrolling the Patagonian coastline and the Strait of Magellan, an area that was being contested by Chile. Naval bases, such as Puerto Belgrano, and regional commands were established to facilitate the patrol of Argentina's Atlantic coast.

Modern steam-powered and iron-clad vessels were first added to the Argentine fleet in the 1870s. The ships constructed during the following two decades included monitors, torpedo boats, corvettes, and gunboats, all of which were laid down in Britain or Austria. During the 1890s friction with Chile led to a renewed effort to modernize the fleet and the consequent acquisition of armored cruisers and destroyers. The need for trained personnel to maintain the new fleet resulted in the opening of the Naval Mechanics School in 1897.

Reorganization also extended to the country's naval force when, in 1898, the functions of the Ministry of War and Navy were divided, and the Ministry of the Navy was created under the command of Commodore Martin Rivadavia, grandson of the president and the individual for whom the city of Comodoro Rivadavia was named.

By the end of the 19th century the Argentine Navy took several acquisitions, that made that the Navy an important fleet, when incorporating the armored cruises "25 of May", "9 of Julio" and "Buenos Aires", the four cruises Pueyrredón type, the battleships of river "Freedom" and "Independence" and the light cruise "Mother country", acquired by popular subscription to replace the "Rosales". In Santiago River there were eight torpedo boats armed with three tubes torpedo launcher each one and four Yarrow destroyers ("Current ", "Missions", "Between Rivers" and "Santa Fe") also armed with three tubes of 18". In as much in Italian shipyards, the construction of two armored cruises similar to the type Pueyrredón, but more powerful, "Brown Mariano" and "Bernardino Rivadavia" was finished.

Such was the situation when, in 1902, the Pacts of May with Chile were signed and was agreed the reduction of naval armaments on the part of both nations. For this reason the battleships were sold to Japan that were in Italy and these, red-baptize "Nishin" and "Kasuga", took part in the war of this nation with Russia in 1905. Established the balance with Chile the things seemed to have been calm in questions of naval material. But between 1904 and 1906, Brazil decided to acquire in armored three England Dreadnought type, two explorers and ten destroyers, with which the balance was altered and the prudence advised to adopt foresighted measures. The Congress did it in 1905 with the Law of Naval Acquisitions (Nº 4,586) and in 1908 the Law Nº 6,283 of reinforcement vowed. The implementation had to take its time.

In 1909, the canteens arrive at the country "Rosary" and "Parana '" and contracts in Europe the construction of 12 destroyers and in 1910, the one of two covered with armor in North America. Of the destroyers they were 4 Germans, 4 English and 4 French, but the development of the plan was interfered with by the imminence of World War I. The English and French units got to be almost finalized but the contracts, terminated finished in their respective fleets and. The Germans and North Americans yes responded and in 1912 we received four destroyers: "Catamarca", "Jujuy", "Cordova" and "the Silver" and in 1914 and 1915 the new battleships "Brown" and "Rivadavia".

By 1915 Argentina was noted for having the largest navy in Latin America. World War I supposed a long interval and just in 1922 the material with the acquisition of ten tracking-sappers could be increased, also constructed Germans, Bathurst type between 1916 and 1918. In 1926 a new law of renovation of naval material was sanctioned (N° 11,378) since the recent war had introduced remarkable improvements that it was necessary to incorporate (turbines, replacement of the coal by petroleum, superior speeds, artillery and fire control directors, that allowed, of being necessary, to fight to greater distances). The new plan anticipated three light cruisers, five destroyers, six submarines, hydrographic and auxiliary ships.

Finally, with the reductions of the case two cruises made in Italy ("Admiral Brown "and" 25 of May") in 1931 were gotten up, three submarines, also Italian ("Santa Fe ", "Jumps" and "Santiago of the Matting") in 1933, five destroyers (two Spaniards: "Cervantes" and "Garay", three English: "the Rioja", "Mendoza" and "Tucumán") between 1928 and 1929, two hydrographic ("San Juan" and "San Luis") and two tugboats ("Tufa" and "Mataco") also English in those same years. The destroyers were in good condition until beginnings of the decade of the 1970s.

The law included the modernization of the existing units and the construction of necessary the terrestrial facilities for submarines. The program would later complete years with the construction in England of seven "exploratory torpedo boats" of the Greyhound type modified, ("Buenos Aires ", "Between Rivers", "Currents", "San Juan", "San Luis", "Missions" and "Santa Cruz") and the cruise" the Argentina "whose deliveries took shape in between 1938 and 1939.

In 1935, the keel laid for the first of a series of nine dredges of Argentine manufacture, inspired by the Germans, whose first unit was the "Bouchard" and last "Fournier". This series it would follow another one of four tracking sappers constructed in Santiago River and of which both first patrol crafts ("King "and" Murature") and both following were reframed as as frigates ("Azopardo "and" Good Stone") first were gotten up in 1946 and the last ones just in 1956.

World War II returned to isolate to the Argentina of the advances in naval matter until 1945. In 1948 an incorporation of units acquired in the U.S.A. like leftovers of the war began, but just as of 1950 it could be counted on new ships constructed to order. That year they arrived the ship tank "End Dunes" and three transports constructed in Canada.

Reaconditioning the veteran ships of second hand military, were numerous among other 14 BDT (Ships of Disembarkation of Tanks), 4 a torpedo frigates ("Sarandi ' ", "Santísima Trinidad", "Heroin" and "Hercules"), corvette type Canadian Flower ("Republic") and 10 boats, in addition to 15 BDI (Ships of Disembarkation of Infantry) and 2 BDM (Ships of Medium Disembarkation), for logistic support, oil tankers and 2 BDT adapted like ship-factory. From that time it also dates the first radar whereupon it counted the Argentina Navy, that Argentina "in 1946 was installed in London on board of the cruise".

In 1951 two cruisers of North American manufacture arrived at the country that had served in World War II and after a name change they stayed as "General Belgrano" and "9 of Julio". These cruisers were provided with radars and fire control directors of artillery on which they did not count the other units of the Navy and had a strong air defense armament, of that lacked other units. When getting up itself these units were broadcast old Italian cruises "25 of May" and "Admiral Brown", both covered with armor of "Brown" World War I and "Rivadavia" and the torpedo ones of beginning of century "Cordova", "the Silver", "Catarmarca" and "Jujuy".

In 1958, one of the greater advances from the beginning of the century with the incorporation of the first aircraft carrier, "Independence" takes place, of English manufacture. With him, the fleet began to have independent air support of earth and therefore with greater reach. In 1960, the first North American submarines arrive type modernized Fleet from World War II, were new "Santa Fe" and "Santiago of the Matting" and with it was broadcast old Italian "the tarentinos" submarines that had formed the first submarine square. In 1961, the antisubmarine capacity of the fleet with the incorporation of reacondicionados the North American destroyers was modernized Fletcher type ("Brown ", "Espora" and "Rosales"). At that time the torpedo boats "Cervantes" were broadcast, "Garay" and three of the class "Mendoza", that no longer services lent.

During the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis — after Frondizi's ouster — Argentine search and rescue aircraft operating out of Florida joined the United States in maintaining the blockade of the island. Two Argentine naval destroyers left Buenos Aires three days after the blockade was imposed and were en route to the Caribbean when the crisis was resolved the next day, October 28.

In 1962, the new ship began its trips of instruction school of the Navy Argentina, the frigate "Freedom", completely constructed in our country. In 1968, six mine-sweeper gears arrived at the country British class ton, with wood helmet, and that were prepared like minesweeper, of magnetic mines, that they replaced to the old mine-sweeper gears like the "Granville", "Py", "Robinson" and "Seaver", constructed in 1936 in steel and that had been broadcast in 1963.

In 1968 shortly after arrived the mine-sweeper gears, a new aircraft carrier of the same class was acquired that independence but that was available in Holland like "Karel Doorman", modernized considerably with greater angulada cover and better electronic equipment. In September of 1969 the training with airships began and units to hunting reaction were acquired and attacks A-4q Skyhawks, that in 1972 began to operate from the same one, next to those of anti-submarine reconnaissance S-2-e and helicopters S-61 Are King. that they provided in the the 70 decade of a remarkable sea and air potential between the regional Navies.

Between 1967 the incorporated frigate "Sarandi '" and corvette "were broadcast Republic" in 1948 and 49. In 1969 he was it the "Hercules" of the same class. In 1970 the Aircraft carrier "Independence" and the transport "Lapataia" of 1951.

The destroyers "Buenos Aires", "Missions" and "San Luis" had 34 years of life and its relief was indispensable, reason why from 1971 they were replaced gradually by destroyers of the North American reserve acquired with the modernization of habitual use in the U.S. Navy and some of greater old bearing than "the Fletcher". Thus they arrived the "Storni" and the "Domecq Garci'a", class "Fletcher", in 1971, and the "Bouchard", "Good Stone" and "Segui '" of the Class "Sumner" (3,300 ton) in 1972 and finally the "Py" of the Gearing class in 1973. The last ones came with hangar and platform from helicopter and in addition to 3 double towers of 5"and optimal sonars and radars. In 1971 the frigate "Santísima Trinidad" was broadcast, class "Sarandi '" and the "Hercules" given to the Naval Prefecture Argentina.

Later a ship of type BDT, the end San Antonio, who was hurled in 1968 and in 1970 a ship was acquired in the U.S.A. landing ship dock class "Ashland" of 9,000 tons, the Innocent one of Lasala that served like transport of speedboats from Europe, of repair ship it is and of disembarkation of amphibious operations was constructed.

In those years the Navy received two new North American submarines (1970) superior to the type "Fleet" with greater equipment and were class "Guppy" IA and II with greater capacity of arms and sensors within a helmet similar to "it floats them". Santa Fe "and Santiago of the Matting" baptized itself "

Between 1973 and 1975 other torpedo boats of the class "Buenos Aires" were broadcast: "Between Rivers", "San Juan" and "Santa Cruz" that served from 1937; the cruise "the Argentina" of 1939; the transport "Tethis Bay" of 1950 and the oceanographic ship "Cánepa Captain" of 1957.

By the end of the decade of the 1960s the Navy had begun to acquire ships with missile capacity. The Great Britain had then a ship in project with long-range antiaircraft missiles and possible antiship capacity. The supply was made specific to Argentina, to the effects to be associated with two ships to the British project, distributing therefore the fixed expenses. The project of these two destroyers of air defense of concrete area with the Hercules in 1976 and Santísima Trinidad in 1980, first constructed in Great Britain and the second in Santiago River. Of modern technology, they carried missiles of air defense Is Dart, but with no capacity antisurface, but the operation and maintenance of those sophisticated arms, served as school, as much for trained airplanes of attack as for air defense of the fleet.

The destroyers class type 42 - "Sheffield", computers meant an important technological jump when incorporating and the necessity to create programming centers and to update software. Shortly after aircraft carrier "25 of May" was modernized incorporating digital systems to him of commando and control of flight, who were previous school to the arrival of the missile destroyers.

Meanwhile they had contracted in Germany the construction, with armed in Argentina, of two submarines class 209 of 900 tons and they began to construct before the arrival of the Guppy submarines, thus in 1974 the Navy counted on 4 submarines of efficient yield. Simultaneously two speedboats, Intrepid and the Indómita, of 250 tons, type TNC 45, armed with a tube of 76 mm were constructed and torpedoes, that happened to serve permanent in the fueguinos channels. In 1977 the destroyers were broadcast class "Fletcher": "the incorporated Browns" and "Espora" in 1961 and cruise "9 of Julio" of 1951.

The arrival of the missiles antiship takes place around 1976-78. Argentina contracts the equipment, material and specific attendance, but it executes with technicians and their arsenals, the installation and assembly of four tubes of French missiles "Exocet" mm 38, long-range and final homing guidance, in almost all the destroyers in good condition. The Artillery was desactualizada or of reserve.

In the occasion of the crisis with Chile two French corvettes were acquired in 1978 A-69 type that were baptized Drummond and Guerrico, these were armed with artillery of 100 mm and antiaircraft assembly and 4 Exocet missiles in addition to antisubmarine capacity. Its bearing of 1,000 tons was little for the Atlantic, but they were very marine and they balanced the naval supremacy at those moments. In 1980 the "Granville" arrived third in its type.

In 1979 it was broadcast the icebreakers "General San incorporated Martín" in 1954, replacing it to it by "Admiral constructed Irizar" in Finland, of 11,500 tons of 16,500 HP and 130 meters of length. The Oceanographic ship "Port Wished" constructed in the country of 2,300 tons is gotten up in replacement of "Cánepa Captain". About this period or one thought about extending the operational range of the missiles with better performances or by means of the use of helicopters armed with missiles or airplanes, embarked, with that capacity.

Of the same time the Law of Naval Re-equipment is the sanction to be able to replace to the old North American destroyers that its life utility had exceeded, by new destroyers with missiles and helicopters with missiles air sea of diverse reaches, and on the other hand seaplanes in the aircraft carrier that made the combat between ships unnecessary. Thus in 1981 they begin to arrive at Argentina the first airplanes it hunts and it attacks embarked with missile capacity, Super Etendard and missiles air antiship sea 39 A.M. Exocet, began to arrive in turns as of 1981. The aircraft carrier initiated their modifications to receive them on board and to give the necessary support them.

In 1980 three ships of transport are gotten up type "South Coast" of 6,000 tons constructed in the country: "Beagle Channel", "Bay San Blas" and "Cape Horn" and the third antisubmarine corvette class A-69 "constructed Granville" in France. In 1981 the polar ship is gotten up "Bay Paradise" constructed in the country of 9,600 tons and the second destructive class "Hercules": "Santísima Trinidad" of 4,000 tons with antiaircraft missiles and antisurface. The ship of Innocent disembark-dock "of Lasala" was broadcast and sold in 1981.

Concluded War of the Falklands, in that the Argentina Navy faced the thickness of the British naval supremacy its little material means, counting just by few of 14 airplanes Super Etendard that had been bought, only five missiles Exocet antiship for these airships, which not yet they could operate from the aircraft carrier that not yet was listed for them, which in addition had turned 37 years of life being already to the maximum of his yield. The Super Etendard had to operate from earth with flight refueling and exhausted the dowry of missiles Exocet Am-39 successfully and acquiring world-wide fame, although in several cases the losses were not recognized by the Royal Navy.

In the fight the cruiser was lost in addition ALTAR "General Belgrano", sunk by the nuclear submarine British "Conqueror" while it sailed outside the exclusion area and being killed 323. The "Belgrano", veteran of II the World war in the Pacific, rests in the frosts waters to the south of the Island of the States. On the other hand it was out of service and later sunk the transport "Bay Good Event". After the war the destroyers "Rosales" of 1961 were broadcast, "Storni" of 1971, "Bouchard" of 1972; "1974" Good Py "and Stone" of 1973.

The preparations of the Navy for their renovation had begun years before the war since several units were arriving at their material obsolescencia, the war of the Falklands finished demonstrating this situation.

Towards 1983 new launchings and incorporations of the Plan of Naval Renovation began. In Germany the four new destroyers are hurled class MEKO 360 calls: "Admiral Brown", Argentina "(1983); "Heroin" and "Sarandi '" (1984), the last one received in 1984. With the reception of these units plus the construction of corvettes MEKO 140 in AFNE, it was arranged to radiate of the service to all the destroyers of World War II that still operated. Destroyers MEKO 360 of 3,600 tons represented an important technological jump for the Navy, being ships of multiple intention constructed by Blohm and Voss, that have excellent precise air defense with tubes and missiles of medium reach, a tube of 5 inches, tubes launches antisubmarine torpedoes, an antiship hangar of two helicopters, and 8 tubes of missiles Exocet MM 40 of greater reach than previous MM 38 (more than 70 km). The outpost electronic and digital technology of commando and control who have these ships makes valuable elements of the naval supremacy and source of advance in the handling of end technology.

In 1982 the launching of six corvettes begins class MEKO 140 of 1,200-1,400 tons constructed in Santiago River at the rate of one per year, with delays in last the two of them. Its names: "Espora", "Rosales" "Spiro", "Parker", "Robinson" and "Go'mez Rock". Designs were constructed in AFNE following German based on the Portuguese class "Joao Coutinho" and have antisubmarine capacity, air defense and missiles Exocet MM 38, are marine and they adapt very well to the control of Exclusive the Economic Zone of Argentina, have platform of helicopters, but nonhangar, having itself anticipated nevertheless the construction of one folding one.

After the Falklands two submarines were gotten up class 1700: "Santa Cruz" and "San Juan" constructed by Thyssen of Germany. These submarines of 2,100-2,300 tons have very high performance and within the variety of the electrical submarines conventional these represent a high operational capacity. Other four were in those years in construction in the Domecq Shipyard Garci'a.

In 1984 End was broadcast the Ship Tank "Dunes" of 1950 and in 1985 incorporated the first 140 MEKO "Espora" In the decade of the 80 modernizations to aircraft carrier "25 of May" were made and the operativity of the Super Etendard in the same one was evaluated, with good result. About 1989 one thought about replacing the power plant of the same one.

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