Skip to comments.Navy Sends Argie Warship Packing
Posted on 02/25/2010 6:04:30 PM PST by SmithL
Destroyer HMS York spotted the vessel up to ten miles inside the disputed "oil zone" around the South Atlantic islands.
York's crew monitored the progress of the Argie ship, a smaller corvette named ARA Drummond, before radioing her to change course.
The Drummond came within just 65 miles of the islands before complying.
She was sent packing with no further action taken.
Sources insisted her crew made an "innocent navigational blunder" and were embarrassed.
But the incident did nothing to calm the mounting storm over British oil exploration in the area.
A senior naval source told The Sun: "The crew of HMS York were pleased they had done their job properly.
"However, this couldn't have come at a more sensitive time for both governments.
It is possible the Argentine crew did make a mistake - but some people will question that."
The MoD confirmed yesterday that York, a 5,200-ton Type 42 destroyer launched just as the Falklands War ended, would remain in the area.
And it emerged a British submarine has also been dispatched to the islands.
It is understood York spotted the Drummond sailing alongside a French fleet.
The Argie corvette then broke away and headed straight into the disputed zone.
Under international law, the 15 miles of sea surrounding the Falklands are officially British waters.
However a much wider so-called conservation zone, which crucially is where the oil exploration is going on, is considered by island residents as "their" sea too.
It is NOT illegal for Argentine ships to enter it but the Drummond's "navigational blunder" heightened tensions.
The French-built corvette, which entered service in 1978, weighs only 1,170 tons but can pack four Exocet missiles and an array of other weapons.
But she would be no match for a destroyer in a battle.
Last night MoD officials were keen to play down the significance of the incident, insisting that radio dialogue between the two ships had been "friendly".
Meanwhile the diplomatic row deepened as Argentina took its protests over oil exploration to the UN.
Last night foreign minister Jorge Taiana said he asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to continue efforts to resolve the dispute.
He said the UN chief was not happy to learn the situation was worsening due to Britain letting Desire Petroleum's Ocean Guardian rig drill north of the islands.
That’s fair sized ship to have no anti-ship missiles of its own. The Sea Skua has a pretty small warhead compared to the Harpoons RN frigates carry.
That is how the Type 42 (Batch 2 and 3) DDs are outfitted. Go figure.
I though the Brits neutered the Type 42’s by retiring the Sea Darts. Besides, without anti ship missiles, they have little value.
They still carry the Sea Dart. Aslo, the Lynx helos aboard the Type 42 can carry the Sea Skua AShM.
After the shell is fired, and as it travels through the atmosphere it absorbs the available water and expands from 4.5” to 14.5”...just like them Dollar General sponges.