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Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War

This article describes the composition and actions of the Argentine naval forces in the Falklands War . For a list of naval forces from the United Kingdom, see British naval forces in the Falklands War.


The Argentine Navy (ARA), particularly its commander-in-chief and Junta member, Admiral Jorge Anaya was the main architect and supporter of a military solution to resolve the long standing claim of sovereignty over the islands. His first attempt came in 1976 when he was the Navy Chief's Operations of the recently established Military dictatorship but General Videla and Admiral Massera were more busy disappearing people at that time . By 1982 the country was already in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and large-scale civil unrest against the repressive government and Anaya, now member of the ruling Junta, ordered Operation Rosario to be brought forward to 2 April, when a group of Argentine scrap metal merchants raised their flag at South Georgia 19 March. General Galtieri, acting President, rapidly agreed that a symbolic military occupation of the Falklands Islands would led to the UK to begin talks on the long delayed sovereignty claim. On April 2 an amphibious landing was made at Port Stanley and on April 3 Argentine marines helitransported take over the Georgias. Whilst the Military Junta was redeploying the assault units back to their home bases they found the British responded with a large-scale mobilization to organize a naval task force and ground forces to retake the islands by force. The war could not happened in worst moment for the Argentines, they were expecting new destroyers, frigates and submarines being built in West Germany and their shipment of French Super Etendards and Exocets were not yet complete whilst in the other hand the Royal Navy was in middle of great cutbacks that would eliminate its force of aircraft carriers and amphibious forces in the coming months.

Argentine Navy

Operation Rosario (April 2)

Vice Admiral Juan Lombardo

Ships that only participated in the initial invasion, April 2nd:

Task Group 20

Commander Jose Sarcona

ARA Comodoro Py - A Gearing class destroyer, formerly USS Perkins (DD-877).

ARA Comodoro Segui - An Allen M. Sumner class destroyer, formerly USS Hank.

Task Group 40

Rear Admiral Jorge Allara

ARA Cabo San Antonio (Q42) - USS De Soto County-class LST, an amphibious landing ship.

Teatro de Operaciones Malvinas (April 2-June 14)

Vessels stationed at the Falklands Islands.

Major General Mario Menendez (Governor).

ARA Alferez Sobral - a Sotoyomo class patrol vessel, formerly USS Salish (ATA-187), damaged by Sea Skua missiles from Westland Lynx HAS.Mk.2/3 helicopters from HMS Glasgow and HMS Coventry. (8)

ARA Comodoro Somellara, a Sotoyomo class patrol vessel, formerly USS Catawba ATA-210 .

ARA Isla de los Estados - A transport ship sunk by HMS Alacrity in Falkland Sound. (22)

ARA Bahia Buen Suceso - A transport ship, damaged by 30 mm ADEN cannon fire from BAe Sea Harrier FRS.Mk.1s.

ARA Bahia Paraiso - A polar transport.

Teatro de Operaciones del Atlantico Sur (April 15-Jun 14)

Direct control from Buenos Aires.

Vice Admiral Juan Lombardo

Task Group 79.1

Rear Admiral Jorge Allara

ARA Veinticinco de Mayo - A Colossus class aircraft carrier, formerly HMS Venerable. Threat of submarine attack kept the ship confined to port after 3rd May.

ARA Hercules - A Type 42 destroyer.

ARA Santisima Trinidad - A Type 42 destroyer.

ARA Punta Medanos - A fleet tanker.

Task Group 79.3

Captain Hector Bonzo

ARA General Belgrano - A Brooklyn class cruiser, formerly USS Phoenix (CL-46) sunk by Mk.8 torpedoes fired by HMS Conqueror. (323)

ARA Hipolito Bouchard - An Allen M. Sumner class destroyer formerly USS Borie (DD-704).

ARA Piedrabuena - A Allen M. Sumner class destroyer, formerly USS Collett.

ARA Punta Delgada - A fleet tanker.

Task Group 79.4

Captain Juan Calmon

ARA Drummond (P-31) - A Drummond -class (D'Estienne d'Orves class) corvette.

ARA Guerrico (P-32) - A Drummond -class (D'Estienne d'Orves class) corvette. (1) April 3rd

ARA Granville (P-33) - A Drummond -class (D'Estienne d'Orves class) corvette.

Submarine force

ARA San Luis - A Type 209 submarine.

ARA Santa Fe - A Balao class submarine, formerly USS Catfish (SS-339), disabled by Aerospatiale AS.12 ASM (Air-to-Surface Missiles) fired from Westland Wasp HAS.Mk.1 helicopters from HMS Plymouth and HMS Endurance (Scuttled by British after capture) (1)


ARA Almirante Irizar - An icebreaker, acting as hospital ship.

ARA Francisco de Gurruchaga - A patrol ship, formerly USS Luiseno ATF 156.

Argentine Coast Guard

Stationed at the Falklands Islands.

Islas Malvinas GC82 - A Z-28 type naval patrol craft, damaged by a Westland Lynx HAS.Mk.2/3 helicopter from HMS Alacrity on 1 May 1982 near Kidney Island. Captured at Stanley by the British on 14 June 1982 and renamed HMS Tiger Bay.

Rio Iguazu GC83 - A Z-28 type naval patrol craft, damaged by BAe Sea Harrier FRS.Mk.1s on 22 May in Choiseuel Sound while steaming towards Goose Green with two 105 mm guns aboard, beached in Button Bay. The guns were taken off by Argentine helicopter, though one was damaged, and were used in the defence of Darwin. Later captured by British Forces, but attacked by a Westland Lynx HAS.Mk.2/3 (XZ691) from HMS Penelope firing a Sea Skua on 13 June 1982. The wreck was towed to Goose Green after the conflict. (1)

Argentine Merchant Navy

Blockade Runners

Formosa - A 12,762 ton cargo ship, attacked by Argentine Douglas A-4 Skyhawks of Grupo 5 in error. Survived the conflict.

Mar del Norte -

Lago Argentino - A ELMA cargo ship.

Rio Cincel - An ELMA cargo ship.

Puerto Rosales - A commercial tanker.

Rio Carcarana - An ELMA cargo ship, 8,500 tons, damaged by Sea Harriers in Port King. Subsequently attacked by both sides, until finally sunk by Sea Skua missiles fired from a Westland Lynx helicopter on 23 May 1982.

Yehuin - A requisitioned oil tender, 494 tons. Captured 15 June 1982 and renamed Falkland Sound.

Spy trawlers

Narwal - A 2,480 ton stern freezer fishing trawler. Damaged by 1,000 lb. bomb and 30 mm ADEN cannon fire from two BAe Sea Harrier FRS.Mk.1s of 800 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Hermes; and captured by Royal Marines 9 May 1982 and sank in a storm on 10 May 1982. (1)

Maria Alejandra


Capitan Canepa

Usurbil -

Mar Azul -

Rio de la Plata - A cargo vessel, 10,409 tons, spotted by British off Ascension Island and warned off on 24 April 1982.

Falkland Islands Company ships seized by occupant forces

Forrest - coaster

Monsunen - coaster


Falklands Air War, Chris Hobson, ISBN 1-85780-126-1

Amphibious Assault Falklands, Michael Clapp and Ewen Southby - Tailyour, ISBN 0-85052-420-2

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