Despite its compact design, ARA Drummond is strongly armed for the time of its design, she turned out to be a very economic ship for extensive patrols.

ARA Drummond review on Dung Tran Military channel


The Corvette, a warship ranking below a frigate in size, has been a significant component of naval forces across the world for over countless decades. The dimensions of corvette are slightly smaller as compared to the traditional frigate combat vessel. However in its slightness lies the most important feature of the Corvette, serving as a preparatory vessel in crucial wartimes, especially as a stop-gap between the larger naval combat vessels.

For the Argentine Navy, the corvettes proved their worth during the 1982 Falklands War. The ARA Drummond and ARA Granville were deployed between the Falklands and South Georgia, which would have allowed them to intercept Endurance and remove any Argentine personnel on board.

ARA Drummond P-31 is the lead ship of the Drummond class of three corvettes of the Argentine Navy. She is the second ship of the Argentine Navy that bears this name, that of Sergeant Major Francisco Drummond, an Argentinian naval sailor who died in the naval Battle of Monte Santiago against the Brazilian Imperial Navy on April 8, 1827.

ARA Drummond was built in 1977 in France for the South African Navy to be named SAS Good Hope but was embargoed at the last minute by United Nations Security Council Resolution 418 over apartheid. The vessel was sold to Argentina instead and delivered on November 9, 1978.

ARA Drummond
ARA Drummond

ARA Drummond’ specific tasks in naval operations are: defense against surface ships through naval attacks with missiles or cannon; anti-submarine defense with torpedo launch or guided anti-submarine missile; self-defense actions against air raiders and fire support to land units. She is currently based at Mar del Plata and conducts fishery patrol duties in the Argentine exclusive economic zone, where she has captured several trawlers in recent years.

Electronic systems

On-board sensors and processing systems include Thales DRBV 51A series air-surface-search radar with a maximum range of 102km. There are also the Thales DRBC-32E Fire Control directing radar and the Thales Diodon hull-mounted sonar.

ARA Drummond’s electronic warfare solutions include a Thales DR2000 S3 series suite and Thales Alligator 51 jammer. A shipborne chaff decoy launching system comprising 36 Corvus decoys, it is a lightweight and quick reaction system.

Chaff dispensing rockets are fired to form a radar decoy screen around the vessel to self-defence against surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles.

ARA Drummond
ARA Drummond


Despite its compact design, ARA Drummond is strongly armed for the time of its design, she turned out to be a very economic ship for extensive patrols. The vessel’s armament, was centered on four MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles with a range of 42km.

Firepower supported by one 100mm Mod 1968 dual purpose gun installed over the forecastle, this is a French naval gun capable of a high rate of fire.

Anti-aircraft protection was modest through one 40mm Bofors autocannon in a twin-gunned mounting, two 20mm Oerlikon autocannons in single-gunned mountings and two 12.7mm Colt M2 Heavy Machine Guns in single-gunned mountings.

For anti-submarine warfare, two 324mm ILAS-3 triple torpedo tubes were brought along.

ARA Drummond
ARA Drummond


Throughout her career, along with her sister ships, ARA Drummond served in the 1982 Falklands War. On October 7, 1983, during a live fire exercise off Mar del Plata, she sunk the old destroyer Almirante Domecq Garcia with a MM38 Exocet missile.

In 1994, from her temporary base at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, she participated on the blockade of Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy. She had also served as support ship of the Buenos Aires-Rio de Janeiro tall ships races.

On 25 February 2010 the British The Sun reported that ARA Drummond had been intercepted and shepherded away by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS York in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands. The story was published in the middle of a diplomatic dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina about oil drilling, escalating the crisis as the “first head-to-head of the Falklands row”. The British Ministry of Defence quickly issued a denial. A spokesman said the incident had occurred a month earlier, before the oil dispute began; both ships were in the same zone in international waters during rough weather at night, and, after a friendly dialogue by radio, each had continued on its own exercise.

ARA Drummond
ARA Drummond

According to reports, ARA Drummond and her sisters currently “hardly sail because of lack of resources for operational expenses”. The services has also found it hard to maintain its naval training programs, this is worsening the status of the Argentine Navy.

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