Argentine flag hoisted to ARA Bouchard Multipurpose Maritime Patrol Ship with a ceremony held at Naval Group’s facilites in Toulon on 6th December.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, Admiral Jose Luis Villan and after it the new Gowind class unit was finally incorporated into the Argentine Navy.
During the ceremony Admiral Villán made a touching speech. “Today is a historic and very special day for the Argentine Republic, because it embodies the first act of appropriation of a naval unit that will represent and defend its sovereign rights, their maritime interests and the safeguarding of human life at sea. For the Argentine Armada, therefore, it marks the principle of receiving an instrument really necessary to maintain its presence at sea. The fruit of the efforts of each of our compatriots is placed under their responsibility and custody, ”said the admiral.
He also emphasized the work of the destinations involved in the planning and execution of the acquisition; that of its first commander and also thanked the French Navy, the Naval Group, the authorities and citizens of Bormes La Mimosa, Saint Tropez and Toulon.
“It requires a strong commitment and efforts to operate ARA Bouchard at sea, doing our best for the name and memory of Hipólito Bouchard, the Navy and, essentially, the Argentine Republic,” he added.
The Bouchard ARA is an OPV (offshore patrol vessel) Gowind Class , which has undergone modernization and reconditioning work in order to meet the specific needs for maritime control tasks in the South Atlantic, including Antarctic deployment.
In 2018, the Argentine State completed the purchase of four vessels of one of the most important shipbuilders in Europe. The Bouchard ARA is part of the first delivery, a second-hand vessel, followed by three new units.
The new OPV is named after a veteran ship of the Falklands War, the destroyer ARA Bouchard (D-26) that together with the twin ARA Piedrabuena (D-29) integrated the combat group with the ARA Belgrano cruise ship and rescued more than 400 shipwrecks from the cruise after it was torpedoed by the British submarine HMS Conqueror.
Photos in the article are taken from defesaaereanaval.com.br.