Replacing Tugboats Now a High Priority for Navy
The Argentine Ministry of Defence has authorised the Navy to decommission seven vessels that have now reached the end of the service lives: ARA MOCOVI, CALCHAQUI, CHULUPI, ONA and CHIQUIYAN (tugboats); ARA CABO DE HORNOS (container ship); and ARA SUBOFICIAL CASTILLO (patrol vessel).
The tugboats are the last of their type to serve with the force, which now has their replacement as one of its main priorities.
The ARA SUBOFICIAL CASTILLO is a CHEROKEE-class vessel, launched as the TAKELMA in 1943 at the United Engineering Co shipyards in Alameda, CA and entering USN service on 3 August 1944. During the Second World War it operated in the Pacific, as well as in the post-war period, towing units to the Marshall Islands for atomic tests in the Bikini Archipelago. It participated in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and continued to service the fleet until October 1976. It was officially handed over to the Argentine Navy on 30 September 1993. Since then it has operated in Antarctica and in various parts of Argentine waters.
The container ship ARA CABO DE HORNOS was, together with the ARA BAHIA SAN BLAS and the ARA CANAL BEAGLE, assigned to the Naval Transport Service since 1978, normally covering all Patagonian ports and the Río de la Plata coast. In 1981-1982, it carried SUPER ETENDARD aircraft from France to Argentina for the Naval Aviation service, while during the Malvinas/Falklands conflict, it provided logistical support from the ports of Santa Fe, Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata to those of Puerto Deseado and Punta Quilla. In 1992 it formed part of the UNPROFOR UN mission in Croatia and Bosnia, transporting troops, vehicles and weapons of the Argentine Army. In 2012 it underwent a series of repairs and maintenance to the hull, but ceased operations before the end of the decade.
Florencia Lucero Heguy and Santiago Rivas in Buenos Aires for MON