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ARA Parker (P-44)
Corvette Espora Class frigate ARA Parker (P-44)
Career (Argentina)
Name: ARA Parker (P-44)
Owner: Argentine Navy
Builder: Río Santiago Shipyard
Launched: 30 March 1984
Acquired: 2 April 1990
Commissioned: 17 April 1990
Homeport: Puerto Belgrano
General characteristics
Class & type: MEKO 140A16 Espora class
Displacement: 1,560 tons (1,790 tons full load)[1]
Length: 91.2 m (299 ft)[1]
Beam: 11.0 m (36.1 ft)[1]
Draught: 3.33 m (10.9 ft)[1] (hull)
Installed power: 22,600 bhp (16.9 MW)[1]
Propulsion:SEMT Pielstick 16 PC 2-5 V400 diesels, 2× 5-blade props[1]
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)[1]
Range: 4,000 nautical miles (7,410 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)[1]
Crew: 11 officers, 46 petty officers, 36 enlisted[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Thales DA-05/2 air/surface search
Thales WM-28, LIROD fire control
Decca TM 1226 navigation
Atlas AQS-1 hull MF sonar[1]
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Decca RDC-2ABC
Decca RCM-2 jammer
2× Matra Dagaie decoys[1]
Armament: 4× MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles
76 mm/62 OTO Melara dual purpose gun
DARDO twin 40 mm AA guns
2× .50cal machine guns
2× triple 324 mm ILAS-3 tubes (WASS A-244S torpedoes)[1]
Aircraft carried:Eurocopter Fennec
Aviation facilities: Helideck and telescoping hangar

ARA Parker (P-44) is the fourth ship of the MEKO 140A16 Espora series of six corvettes built for the Argentine Navy. The ship is the second ship to bear the name of Captain Enrique Guillermo Parker, who fought in the Argentine Navy as its second-in-command during the Cisplatine War.

The Argentine Navy struggles to meet maintenance and training requirements because of financial problems and import restrictions. The status of Parker is not clear, as of November 2012 she was waiting for spares.[2]

Origin[edit | edit source]

Parker and her sister ships were part of the 1974 Naval Constructions National Plan, an initiative by the Argentine Navy to replace old World War II-vintage ships with more advanced warships. The original plan called for six MEKO 360H2 destroyers, four of them to be built in Argentina, but the plan was later modified to include four MEKO destroyers and six corvettes for anti-surface warfare and patrol operations.

Construction[edit | edit source]

Espora was constructed at the Río Santiago Shipyard of the Astilleros y Fábricas Navales del Estado (State Shipyards and Naval Factories) state corporation. She was launched on 30 March 1984, but flooding on 2 October 1986 delayed completion.[1] In 1988 her pennant number was changed from P-13 to P-44 in line with the rest of the class.[1] She was officially delivered to the Navy on 2 April 1990 and commissioned on 17 April of that year. Parker is the first ship of the class' second batch, and incorporated a telescopic hangar, allowing the ship to carry a helicopter. The first three ships of the class were fitted with a landing pad but did not have a hangar.

Service history[edit | edit source]

Between 1990 and 2000, Parker was effectively the last ship of her class, as budgetary cuts delayed and almost cancelled the construction of the final two ships, Robinson and Gómez Roca.

Following her commissioning Parker participated in several naval exercises and conducted fishery patrol duties in the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone.

In 1995 she represented the Argentine Navy in the Naval Parade conducted in Cape Town as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the South African Navy.

She is homeported at Puerto Belgrano Naval Base and is part of the Navy's 2nd Corvette Division with her five sister ships.

References[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Guia de los buques de la Armada Argentina 2005-2006. Ignacio Amendolara Bourdette, ISBN 987-43-9400-5, Editor n/a. (Spanish/English text)

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