The Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic (Spanish: Armada de la República Argentina — ARA) is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the Army and the Air Force.
The Argentine Navy day is celebrated on May 17, anniversary of the victory achieved in 1814 in the Battle of Montevideo over the Spanish fleet during the war of Independence.
Each ship of the Argentine Navy is designated with the prefix ARA before its name.
1.1 19th Century
2 20th Century
2.1 Falklands War
2.3 Present day
3 Current fleet
3.1 Troop Transport and Command (2)
3.2 Major combat vessels Destroyers (Frigates)(4)
3.3 Submarine SSK (3)
3.4 Minor combat vessels Corvettes (9)
3.5 Patrol Vessels (8)
3.6 Supply ships (11)
3.7 Others (5)
4 Submarine Force
5 Naval Aviation
6 Naval Infantry
7 Other branches
8.2 Enlisted men and Non-Commissioned Officers
9 See also
10.1 Further reading
11 External links
Rivadavia class battleship under construction in the US for the Argentine Navy. Photo taken in 1912. Two ships of this class entered service in 1914–1915 and served until 1956.
 19th Century
The Argentine Navy was created in the aftermath of the May Revolution of May 25, 1810. Not until 1814, under the leadership of the Irishman Lt. Colonel (Navy) William Brown did the Argentine Navy become a decisive player in the war for independence from Spain.
In the late 1800s, the Argentine Navy began modernizing itself. At the close of the century, the force included:
5 armored cruisers
4 coastal defense ironclads
3 second-class, high-speed, British-built cruisers
7 modern small cruisers and gunboats
4 destroyers and
22 torpedo boats.
The most powerful ships (counted in the list above) included the Italian-built Garibaldi and her sister ships, the General Belgrano, Pueyrredón, and the San Martín, each at over 6,000 tons. Three older ships, the Almirante Brown, Independencia, and the Libertad dated from the 1880s and early 1890s.
The navy's ships were built primarily in Italy, Britain, France, and Spain and were operated by over 600 officers and 7760 seamen. These were supported by a battalion of marines and an artillery battery.
 20th Century
See also: South American dreadnought race
Although Argentina remained neutral in both world wars, the country's navy was a force to be reckoned with. In 1940, Argentina's navy was ranked the eighth most powerful in the world (after the European powers, Japan, and the United States) and the largest in Latin America. A ten-year building program costing $60 million had produced a force of 14,500 sailors and over a thousand officers. The fleet in 1940 included two First World War-era (but modernized) American-built Rivadavia class battleships, three modern cruisers, a dozen British-built destroyers, and three submarines in addition to minelayers, minesweepers, coastal defense ships, and gunboats. A naval air force was also in operation.
In the postwar period, Naval Aviation and Marine Corps units were put under direct Navy's command. With Brazil, Argentina is one of but two South American countries to have operated two aircraft carriers effectively: the ARA Independencia and ARA Veinticinco de Mayo.
The Argentine Navy have been traditionally greatly involved in fishery inspection helping the Coast Guard : most notably in 1966 a destroyer fired and holed a Russian trawler which had refused to be escorted to Mar del Plata, in the 1970s there were four more incidents with Soviet and Bulgarian ships  and continued in recent years.
The Navy also took part in all military coups through the 20th century. During the last dictatorship, Navy personnel were involved in the Dirty War in the late 1970s in which thousands of people were kidnapped, tortured and killed by the forces of the Military Junta. The Naval Mechanics School, known as ESMA, was a notorious centre used for torture. Amongst their more well-known victims were the Swedish teenage Dagmar Hagelin and French nuns, Alice Domon and Léonie Duquet (In October 2007 the Argentine navy formally handed possession of the School to human rights groups which will now be turned into a memorial museum). During this regimen, the Navy was also the main supporter of a military solution for the country's two long standing disputes: The Beagle Conflict with Chile and the Falklands Islands ( Spanish: Islas Malvinas ) with the United Kingdom.
 Falklands War
Main article: Falklands War
See also: Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War, 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands, and Invasion of South Georgia
During the 1982 Falklands conflict termed by the Argentines Guerra de las Malvinas / Guerra del Atlántico Sur the Main Argentine Naval Fleet consisted of modernised World War II era ships (one GUPPY-type submarine, one British-built Colossus-class carrier, a cruiser, and four destroyers ) supported with new ones (2 Type 42 class destroyers, 3 French built corvettes and one German built Type 209 submarines). This fleet was supported by several ELMA tankers and transports as well as two ice breakers/polar ships.
Super Étendard, the Exocet platform.
The new German design MEKO class destroyers, corvettes and Thyssen-Nordseewerke (Type TR-1700) submarines were still under construction.
Despite leading the invasion of the Falkland Islands, in both strategic and tactical aspects the Argentine fleet played only a small part in the subsequent conflict with the Royal Navy. After HMS Conqueror sank the ARA General Belgrano, the Argentine surface fleet did not venture from a 12-mile (22.2-km) coastal limit imposed by the British due to the threat posed by the Royal Navy fleet of nuclear powered submarines (SSNs).
The Argentine Navy's contributions to the war were, among the initial amphibious assaults, with naval aviation its Exocet armed Super Étendards sinking HMS Sheffield and the Atlantic Conveyor, its A-4Q Skyhawks sinking HMS Ardent (F184); and the Marines, with the 5th Marine Corps Battalion role at Mount Tumbledown. In addition, a landbased Exocet battery outside Port Stanley scored a direct hit on HMS Glamorgan. Naval aviation also carried out intensive maritime patrols searching to locate the British Fleet for the strike aircraft  whilst their transports provided logistical support.
The ARA San Luis submarine also played a strategic role, and was a real concern to the British, although she scored no hits. The submarine ARA Santa Fe, after a successful resupply mission, was attacked and disabled off South Georgia, where her crew then surrendered along with the Argentine detachment at Grytviken. She was later scuttled by the British.
Almirante Brown Meko 360 class destroyer.
The core of the fleet was reformed with the retirement of all the World War II era Fletcher and Gearing class destroyers and their replacement with the MEKO 360 and 140 classes designed by the German shipyard Blohm + Voss.
Also, the submarine force greatly reinforced their assets with the introduction of the Thyssen Nordseewerke (TR-1700) class. Although the original program called for six units with the last four to be built in Argentina, only the two built in Germany were delivered.
The amphibious force was drastically affected with the retirement of their only LST landing ship ARA Cabo San Antonio and replacement by a modified cargo vessel, the San Blas. This situation was to be improved during 2006 with the delivery made by France of the first of the LPD Ouragans but the whole operation was placed in stand by the Argentine Government due to asbestos concerns. On 2010 France offered the Foudre (L 9011) instead.
ARA San Juan TR1700 submarine class.
France also transferred the Durance, now B-1 ARA Patagonia, multi-product replenishment ship (AOR) enhancing the capabilities of the fleet.
In 1988 the A-4Q Skyhawks were withdrawn leaving the Super Étendard as the only fighter jets in the navy inventory. The already paid for A-4Hs bought in Israel as their replacement could not be delivered due the embargo imposed by the United States after the war. Instead IAI used the money to refurbish the S-2E Trackers to the S-2T Turbo Tracker current variant.
In the 1990s, the embargo was lifted and the Lockheed L-188 Electras (civilian aircraft converted for maritime patrol) were finally retired and replaced with similar P-3B Orions and civilian Beechcraft King Air Model 200 were locally converted to the MP variant.
In 2000 the aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo was decommissioned without replacement, although the navy maintains the air group of Super Étendards jets and S-2 Tracker that routinely operates from Brazilian Navy aircraft carrier São Paulo ARAEX video or United States Navy carriers when they are in transit in the south Atlantic during Gringo-Gaucho manoeuvers.
 Present day
Joint operations at Panama
Argentina was the only Latin American country to participate in the 1991 Gulf War sending a destroyer and a corvette in first term and a supply ship and another corvette later to participate on the United Nations blockade and sea control effort of the gulf. The success of Operación Alfil ("English: Operation Bishop") as it was known, with more than 700 interceptions and 25,000 miles sailed on the operations theatre helped to overcome the so-called "Malvinas syndrome".
From 1990 to 1992, the Baradero class patrol boats were deployed under UN mandate ONUCA to the Gulf of Fonseca in Central America. In 1994, the three Drummond class corvettes participated on Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti.
Also, in 2003, as the first time, the Argentine Navy (classified as major non-NATO ally) interoperated with an United States Navy battlegroup when destroyer ARA Sarandi (D-13) joined the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group and Destroyer Squadron 18 as a part of Exercise Solid Step during their tour in the Mediterranean Sea.
Today, the Argentine Navy participates in joint exercises with other friendly navies like Brazil, United States, Spain, France, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Uruguay, and since the 1990s, Chile. Examples of such annual maneuvers are UNITAS, ARAEX, TEMPEREX, FRATERNO, ATLASUR, PAMPAREX  and when possible Gringo-Gaucho. Joint NCAGS exercises, such as TRANSOCEANIC, TRANSAMERICA and COAMAS are also routinely held, in order to develop a common operational doctrine. The NCAGS Organisation is headed by the Naval Shipping Command (Comando Naval de Transito Marítimo), acting as Local Operational Control Command ("COLCO in Spanish) with two subordinate Operational Control Authorities (OCA's) and several Naval Control of Shipping Officers (NCSO's) bureaus along the Coastline, both Navy and Coast Guard manned.
Every year in conjunction with the Chilean Navy they join in the Patrulla Antártica Naval Combinada (English: Joint Antarctic Naval Patrol) to guarantee safety to all touristic and scientific ships that are in transit within the Antarctic Peninsula where the Navy is also directly responsible of maintaining the Argentine bases there.
In 2010 the construction start of four 1.800 ton offshore patrol ships was announced.
In May 2010, Defense Minister Nilda Garre announced that the Navy would continue working on a system that would enable the launch of Exocet missiles from the Navy’s P3 Orion aircraft. In addition, the financing of the local development and construction of a coastal Naval defense system that may also be based on the use of Exocet missiles similar to the Excalibur system.
 Current fleet
The Argentine Navy operates 42 ships. The four Destroyers and three SSKs represent the Argentine Navy's central combat force while its 9 Corvettes operate in the defence of coasts, naval bases and territorial waters.
 Troop Transport and Command (2)
Command Ship (LCC)
Type 42 (1)
ARA Hércules (B-52) - formerly a Type 42 destroyer, reconverted to fast Marine transport and command vessel.
Amphibious cargo ship (LKA)
Costa Sur modified (1)
ARA Bahía San Blas (B-4)
 Major combat vessels Destroyers (Frigates)(4)
ARA La Argentina
Almirante Brown class (4)
ARA Almirante Brown (D-10)
ARA La Argentina (D-11)
ARA Heroína (D-12)
ARA Sarandí (D-13)
 Submarine SSK (3)
ARA San Juan
TR-1700 Class (2)
ARA Santa Cruz (S-41)
ARA San Juan (S-42)
Type 209 (1)
ARA Salta (S-31)
 Minor combat vessels Corvettes (9)
ARA Gomez Roca
Espora class (6)
ARA Espora (P-41)
ARA Rosales (P-42)
ARA Spiro (P-43)
ARA Parker (P-44)
ARA Robinson (P-45)
ARA Gómez Roca (P-46)
Drummond class (3)
ARA Drummond (P-31)
ARA Guerrico (P-32)
ARA Granville (P-33)
 Patrol Vessels (8)
Murature class (2)
ARA Murature (P-20)
ARA King (P-21)
Baradero class (4)
ARA Baradero (P-61)
ARA Barranqueras (P-62)
ARA Clorinda (P-63)
ARA Concepción del Uruguay (P-64)
Fast Attack Craft
Intrépida class (2)
ARA Intrépida (P-85)
ARA Indómita (P-86)
 Supply ships (11)
ARA Ciudad de Rosario
Supply ship (AOR)
Durance class (1)
ARA Patagonia (B-1)
ARA Ingeniero Julio Krause 
(2) Costa Sur class
ARA Canal de Beagle (B-3)
ARA Cabo de Hornos (B-5)
ARA Teniente Olivieri (A-2)
ARA Francisco de Gurruchaga (A-3)
ARA Suboficial Castillo (A-6)
ARA Alférez Sobral (A-9)
ARA Ciudad de Zárate (Q-61)
ARA Ciudad de Rosario (Q-62)
ARA Punta Alta (Q-63)
 Others (5)
ARA Puerto Deseado
ARA Libertad (Q-2)
ARA Almirante Irizar (Q-5)
ARA Puerto Deseado (Q-20)
ARA Comodoro Rivadavia (Q-11)
ARA Cormoran (Q-15)
 Submarine Force
Main article: Argentine Submarine Force
Headquartered at Mar del Plata the Navy started using submarines in 1927. The elite group Buzos Tácticos in under the submarine force command and as of 2010 three ships are in service.
 Naval Aviation
Main article: Argentine Naval Aviation
See also: List of aircraft of Argentine Naval Aviation
The Naval Aviation Command is abbreviated COAN ( Spanish: COmando de Aviación Naval ) and is one of two South American countries to have operated two aircraft carriers. The service became famous worldwide during the 1982 Falklands War.
 Naval Infantry
Main article: Argentine Marines
The Infantería de Marina de la Armada de la República Argentina (IMARA) ( English: Naval Infantry of the Armada of the Argentine Republic ) is the land warfare amphibious branch of the Argentine Navy. Argentine Marines have the same rank insignia and titles as the rest of the Navy and they are currently deployed abroad on UN mandates.
 Other branches
The Servicio de Hidrografia Naval provides the national hydrographics services.
See also: Military ranks of Argentina
Rank insignia consists of a variable number of gold-braid stripes worn on the sleeve cuffs or on shoulderboards. Officers may be distinguished by the characteristic loop of the top stripe (in the manner of British Royal Navy officers). Combat uniforms may include metal pin-on or embroidered collar rank insignia. Rank insignia is worn on the chest when in shipboard or flying coveralls.
Officers are commissioned in either the Command (line) Corps (those who attend the Escuela Naval Militar- Naval College) or the Staff Corps (Professional Officers who only attend a short course in the Naval Academy after getting a civilian degree, except for the Paymasters who indeed attend the Naval College).
The Line Corps is divided into three branches: the Naval branch (including Surface Warfare, Submarine Warfare and Naval Aviation sub-branches), the Marine Corps branch, and Executive -Engineering- branch. Line Corps' reserve officers are considered Restricted Line ( Escalafon Complementario ) officers in any of the Warfare Communities (Surface, Submarine, Marines, Aviation and Propulsion), and can only raise to OF-4 rank ( Capitan de Fragata ).
All Line Corps officers were distinctive branch/sub-branch insignia on the right breast. Some Staff Corps officers also wear specialization badges (Aviation, Surface, Submarine and Marines). Other common insignia is the Naval War College insignia, parachute wings, etc., also worn on the right breast. Medals and Ribbons, if awarded, are worn on the left breast, just above the chest pocket. The rank insignia of Staff Corps' officers is placed over a background color denoting the wearer's field, such as purple (Chaplains), blue (Engineers), red (Health Corps), white (Paymasters), green (Judge Advocate Officers), brown (Technical Officers, promoted from the ranks) and gray (special branch). The background color for Command Corps officers is navy blue/black.
Following a global trend, Argentine armed forces have outlawed beards since the 1920s. This was reinforced in the Cold War era when they were deemed synonymous with leftist leanings. The only exception were Antarctic service within the three armed forces as a protection from cold weather, and submarine service within the Navy as a way of saving water. However, shaving was mandatory upon return to headquarters.
Before the end of 20th century the Navy became a singularity[clarification needed] within the Argentine armed forces as Adm. Joaquín Stella, then Navy Chief of Staff allowed beards in 2000 for officers with ranks above Teniente de Corbeta (Ensign), according to Section 18.104.22.168 of the Navy Uniform regulations (R.A-1-001). Adm. Stella gave the example himself by becoming the first bearded Argentine admiral since Adm. Sáenz Valiente in the 1920s. Non commissioned officers can wear beards from Suboficial Segundo rank, and upwards.
Protocol still requires officers to appear clean-shaved on duty, thus forcing those who choose to sport beards to grow them while on leave. Both full beards and goatees are allowed, as long as they profer a professional, non-eccentric image. Nowadays, bearded Argentine naval officers and senior NCO's are a relatively common sight.
Insignia Argentine Rank (in Spanish) Argentine Rank (in English) Equivalent Royal Navy Rank Equivalent US Navy Rank NATO Rank Code
Almirante Admiral Admiral/Vice-Admiral Admiral/Vice-Admiral OF-9/OF-8
Vicealmirante Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Rear Admiral (Upper Half) OF-7
Contraalmirante Rear Admiral Commodore Rear Admiral (Lower Half) OF-6
Comodoro de Marina Commodore of the Navy No equivalent - honorary rank No equivalent - honorary rank OF-6
Capitán de Navío Ship-of-the-Line Captain Captain Captain OF-5
Capitán de Fragata Frigate Captain Commander Commander OF-4
Capitán de Corbeta Corvette Captain Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Commander OF-3
Teniente de Navío Ship-of-the-Line Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant OF-2
Teniente de Fragata Frigate Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Lieutenant (Junior Grade) OF-1
Teniente de Corbeta Corvette Lieutenant Acting Sub-Lieutenant Ensign OF-1
Guardiamarina Midshipman Midshipman no equivalent OF-D
 Enlisted men and Non-Commissioned Officers
Other ranks' insignia (not including Seamen) is worn on either shoulderboards or breast or sleeve patches. Seamen and Seamen Recruits wear their insignia on their sleeves. The shoulderboards denote the wearer's specialty.
Insignia Argentine Rank (in Spanish) Argentine Rank (in English) Equivalent RN Rank (approximate) Equivalent USN Rank (approximate)
Suboficial Mayor Sub-Officer Major Warrant Officer 1
Suboficial Principal Principal Sub-Officer Warrant Officer 2
Suboficial Primero Sub-Officer First Class Chief Petty Officer
Suboficial Segundo Sub-Officer Second Class Petty Officer
Cabo Principal Principal Corporal Leading Seaman
Cabo Primero Corporal First Class (No equivalent)
Cabo Segundo Corporal Second Class Able Seaman
Marinero Primero Seaman Ordinary Seaman
Marinero Segundo Seaman Recruit (No equivalent)
 See also
Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War
List of ships of the Argentine Navy
List of auxiliary ships of the Argentine Navy
^ Historia de la Armada Argentina (in spanish)
^ Keltie, J.S., ed. The Statesman's Year-Book: Statistical and Historical Annual of the States of the World for the Year 1900. New York: Macmillan, 1900. p 349.
^ Keltie 1900, p. 349.
^ Keltie 1900, p. 349-50.
^ Associated Press. "Plan Big Navy for Argentina". Youngstown Vindicator March 10, 1940. (Retrieved via Google News 10/25/10).
^ [Conway's All the World Fighting Ships 1947-1995]
^ Persecución y captura de un pesquero
^ Incendian y hunden un pesquero para evitar su captura
^ Para evitar su captura, el capitán de un pesquero hundió el barco
^ "PDF book: Historia de la Aviacion Naval Argentina". www.trackerenmalvinas.com.ar (Spanish). Retrieved 2009-04-07.
^ França oferece “Foudre” à Argentina
^ official site
^ con el propósito de asegurar el cumplimiento del embargo comercial, dispuesto por el Consejo de Seguridad, por medio de las corbetas ARA Grandville, ARA Guerrico y ARA Drummond.
^ Atlasur VIII
^ mindef: El comienzo en agosto próximo en los Astilleros Tandanor (en Buenos Aires) de la construcción primera de las cuatro Patrulleras Oceánicas Multipropósito, cuya ingeniería básica fue adquirida a la industria chilena.
^ Buque Tanque at ara.mil.ar
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