Military Wiki
ARA Spiro (P-43)
Espora Class corvette ARA Spiro (P-43) moored in
Puerto Belgrano naval base
Career (Argentina)
Name: ARA Spiro (P-43)
Namesake: Samuel Spiro
Owner: Argentine Navy
Builder: Río Santiago Shipyard
Laid down: 1 April 1982[1]
Launched: 24 June 1983[1]
Acquired: 24 November 1987[1]
Commissioned: 9 May 1988
Homeport: Puerto Belgrano[1]
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]
Aviation facilities: Helideck for Eurocopter Fennec

ARA Spiro (P-43) is the third 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 the Greek-born Captain Samuel Spiro, who fought during the Argentine War of Independence and blew himself up with his ship rather than surrender to the Spanish forces following the battle of Arroyo de la China, in 1814.

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


Spiro 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.

Spiro was constructed at the Río Santiago Shipyard of the Astilleros y Fábricas Navales del Estado (State Shipyards and Naval Factories) state corporation. Her keel was laid down on 2 October 1982, and was launched on 24 June 1983. The ship was officially delivered to the Navy on 26 November 1987, and formally commissioned on 9 May 1988.

Service history[]

On 25 September 1990, Spiro and the destroyer Almirante Brown participated as part of a multinational task force in the United Nations-mandated blockade of Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait. She participated in patrol and escort missions as part of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, returning to Argentina on 30 May 1991.

Spiro also participated in several naval exercises and conducted fishery patrol duties in the Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone, capturing three illegal fishing ships between 1991 and 1994.

In August 2012 she ran aground on a sandbank as she left Mar del Plata and lost her sonar.[2] This meant that her sister ARA Espora had to make an unscheduled deployment to replace Spiro on the Atlasur IX exercise off West Africa. Having left port with unresolved problems in her generators, the Espora ended up spending 73 days in South Africa after three generators failed completely and Argentina struggled to find the money to repair them.[2]



  • 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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