Argentina to be boosted with new class of naval warship from China | World | News

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Xi Jinping
GETTYArgentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Over the last decade, Argentina has been searching for a country to meet their requirements for an offshore patrol vessel, including looking at designs from Brazil, Germany and Spain.

But China has now reportedly impressed Argentina with its China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation's (CSIC) P18 export corvette vessel.

The Chinese offer was said to have been accepted late last year and the vessel will be known as the Malvinas class – referring to the Argentine name for the Falkland Islands.

An initial deal could include two ships - which Argentine sources have estimated could cost $50million (£33million) each - built in China and three co-produced in Argentina, according to Brazilian website Naval Power.

The Chinese P18 corvette is 95 metres long, 12 metres wide, can displace 1,800 tonnes and is powered by two German-designed MTU 20V 4000M diesel engines to reach impressive speeds of 25 knots.

It can be armed with a 76 mm main gun, two 30 mm cannons, up to eight anti-ship missiles, two triple torpedo launchers, and can carry one medium-sized helicopter.

However, Argentina has supposedly requested a larger flight deck to carry its 10-tonne Sea King helicopters and a towed sonar to increase its capability.

GETTY

President Kirchner is currently visiting Beijing

The plans for the Argentine version of the P18s, which could reportedly be delivered to South America as soon as 2017, are expected to be includ....

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