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Argentine Navy - a query

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:42 am
by RF
I am trying to find some information, photographs etc. of an Argentine Navy aircraft carrier around in the 1980's.

The only information I have on this ship is that its name corresponds to a calendar date, 25th May.

Does anybody know anything? What is the significance of that date, why name a substantial ship after it?

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:13 pm
by Captain Morgan
Veinticinco de Mayo was a British colossus class carrier. She was later the Dutch HNLMS Karel Doorman. After a fire damaged her engine room she was sold to Argentina and replaced the older ARA Independencia,

25 May is May revolution day in Argentina and a National Holiday IIRC.

On May 25 1810 the Spanish government of Argentina was overthrown with a little bit of help from the British since Napoleon had captured Spain and the British were concerned of him gaining power in the Americas. It's been a long time since I studied the history of all this so I may have some facts slightly wrong.

I may be able to scan a photo out of one of my Combat Fleets of the world from the Eighties and Nineties.

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:52 pm
by RF
Captain Morgan wrote:Veinticinco de Mayo was a British colossus class carrier. She was later the Dutch HNLMS Karel Doorman. After a fire damaged her engine room she was sold to Argentina and replaced the older ARA Independencia,

25 May is May revolution day in Argentina and a National Holiday IIRC.

On May 25 1810 the Spanish government of Argentina was overthrown with a little bit of help from the British since Napoleon had captured Spain and the British were concerned of him gaining power in the Americas. It's been a long time since I studied the history of all this so I may have some facts slightly wrong.

I may be able to scan a photo out of one of my Combat Fleets of the world from the Eighties and Nineties.


Thanks for your reply.

P.S. - the vessel that can go silently and deep is also a target - if you are a hunter/killer equally silent and deep with the right torpedoes!!!!!

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:56 pm
by Zaku II

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:31 pm
by marcelo_malara
Hi all:

Yes, 25th May we remembered the date that the viceroy was overthrown and replaced by a Joint government, composed mainly by notable local people, some of them Spanish in fact. The main cause of the events was that the Spanish King was a prisoner of Napoleon, so without King you can´t have a viceroy. Add to this the fact that in 1806-7 local people succeded twice to defend the city of Buenos Aires against British forces, so that there was the sensation that eventually they could defend against the Spanish too.
With respect to the carrier named after the date, see
http://www.histarmar.com.ar/Armada%20Argentina/Portaaviones/25deMayo.htm
.
The carrier had been out of service after Malvinas/Falklands war by trouble with the steam turbines, and her destiny was dubious. Finally it was sold for scrap, leaving Argentina out of the club of carrier possesing navies.

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:23 am
by RF
marcelo_malara wrote:Hi all:

The carrier had been out of service after Malvinas/Falklands war by trouble with the steam turbines, and her destiny was dubious. Finally it was sold for scrap, leaving Argentina out of the club of carrier possesing navies.


Thanks for the info Marcelo.

As Argentina has substantial naval facilities, eg. the base at Bahia Blanca for example, would it now be possible to build their own carrier rather than buy ''a used car'' from abroad?

Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:55 pm
by marcelo_malara
Regretably I had to admit that the indigenous industry is far behind the needs for such an enterprise.
All ships Argentina had before 1950 were bought brand new abroad, cruisers and subs from Italy, destroyers from England and battleships from USA.
After 1950 we started replacing those aging ships with Americans leftovers from WWII, 2 Brooklin class CL, Fletchers destroyers and Guppy subs, and we received the two Colossus class carriers.
In the 1970 a modernization period started, this time a mixed bought/local made policy. The firsts ships of a class would be bought abroad, the rest of the class being built locally to the original plans. So we incorporated two Type 42 destroyers (from England, both out of service now), some MEKO frigates and Type 206, 209 and TR1700 and TR2400 subs (from Germany).
Nowadays there is no political will of buying a carrier, there is no money either, and don´t know if we have a shipyard here to build a 250 m ship. Moreover the old rivalry between the ABC countries (Argentina, Brasil and Chile) has dissapeared, so there is really no need for such a ship.

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:13 am
by RF

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:32 am
by RF
The references are very interesting.

One question - as we had here a one carrier navy how was the organisation of flight, training of aircrews conducted - did the navy have its own air force or were operations done as part of the Argentine Air Force?

One reason for the query is that during the 1982 conflict the Air Force was involved in operations in the Falklands/Malvinas but not planes from Veintecinco de Mayo - is this right?

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:09 pm
by marcelo_malara
The navy has its own air wing, that operated from the carrier as well as from some bases on land. In fact, with the carrier gone, the navy air wing hasn´t dissapeared.
In the Falklands/Malvinas both the Air Force and Navy conducted attacks with their planes, the Navy from land. The Super Etendard were originally bought as a carrier plane.

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:27 pm
by Bgile
The Argentine navy had A4s and used them against the British. They had retarded bombs, which had time to arm during low level attacks. That was a good thing for them. The really bad thing was they were painted white, which made them stand out against the ocean during the low level attacks and helped the Harriers find them.

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:10 pm
by RF
Bgile wrote:The Argentine navy had A4s and used them against the British. They had retarded bombs, which had time to arm during low level attacks. That was a good thing for them. The really bad thing was they were painted white, which made them stand out against the ocean during the low level attacks and helped the Harriers find them.


I believe that land based rapier missile batteries brought some of them down as well.

Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:02 pm
by Karl Heidenreich
Here are some specificatins for the 25 de Mayo:

Builder: Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, England
Laid down: 3 December 1942
Launched: 30 December 1943
Commissioned: 12 March 1969
Decommissioned: 1997
Out of service: Inoperable by 1985
Status: Scrapped in 1999
General Characteristics
Displacement: 19,900 tons
Length: 192 m (630 feet)
Beam: 24.4 m (80 feet)
Draught: 7.5 m (24.4 feet)
Propulsion and power: 4 boilers with steam turbines
2 shafts
40,000 shp
Speed: 24 knots
Complement: 1,300
Armament: 12 x 40 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: 21

Here is more:

ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2)
The ARA Veinticinco de Mayo (V-2) was an aircraft carrier in the Armada Republica Argentina from 1969 to 1997. The English translation of the name is the Twenty-fifth of May, which is the May Revolution Day holiday of Argentina.

The ship was built by Cammel Laird in Birkenhead, England during the Second World War for the Royal Navy. As a Colossus class aircraft carrier, she was named HMS Venerable and saw service in the British Pacific Fleet. However Venerable only served 3 years in the Royal Navy before being sold to the Dutch as HNLMS Karel Doorman.

After a boiler room fire, the Dutch sold the carrier to the Argentine fleet. The Argentinians already operated a carrier, the ARA Independencia, also a former Royal Navy ship. After Independencia was decommissioned in 1970, the Veinticinco de Mayo was the sole remaining carrier in the Argentine fleet and could carry up to 24 aircraft.

The air group started with F9F Panthers and F9F Cougars jets and later these were replaced with A-4Q Skyhawks supported by S-2 Tracker anti-submarine warfare aircraft and Sikorsky Sea King helicopters.

During the Falklands War, the Veinticinco de Mayo was deployed in a task force north of the Falkland Islands, with the ARA General Belgrano to the south. The British had assigned the HMS Spartan, a nuclear powered submarine, to track down the Veinticinco de Mayo and sink her if necessary.

After hostilities broke out on May 1, 1982, the Argentine carrier attempted to launch a wave of Skyhawk jets against the Royal Navy Task Force.

However, in what was to be the first (and to date, only) battle between aircraft carriers since World War II, poor winds prevented the heavily loaded jets from being launched and after the HMS Conqueror sank the General Belgrano, the Veinticinco de Mayo returned to port, lest it too be sunk. The Spartan never tracked down the carrier.

Her A-4Q Skyhawks flew the rest of the war from the naval airbase in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, and had some success against the Royal Navy, sinking HMS Ardent, although three Skyhawks were shot down by Sea Harriers.

In 1983, the Veinticinco de Mayo was modified to carry the new Dassault Super Étendard jets, but soon after problems in her engines largely confined her to port; she was deemed more or less unseaworthy.

The Argentine Navy could not procure the funds for a modernization, leading to decommissioning by 1997 and finally in 2000, she was towed to Alang, India for scrapping.