Argentina will soon take delivery of a recently decommissioned South Korean frigate, according to local media.

The vessel is understood to have been launched in the 1980’s, almost 35 years ago.

An Argentine naval delegation is expected to travel to Jinhae naval base in the near future to take possession of the donated warship, said the South Korean military attache in Buenos Aires.

“The South Korean navy has started the documentation for the transfer of a decommissioned Ulsan Class frigate to the Argentine navy. A delegation of Argentine officers and crew members will be travelling to the South Korean base at Jinhae in the near future, according to Seoul’s military attaché in Buenos Aires Lieutenant Colonel Ho Lim”, according to local news outlet MercoPress.

The ship is one of four Ulsan-class frigates that was recently decommissioned by the South Korean navy.

The Ulsan class is a light frigate built by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The frigates are 103.7 metres in length with top speed of 34 knots and range of 8,000 nautical miles at 16 knots.

Typical armament when the class was in service includes eight Harpoon missiles in two quadruple launchers, six 324mm Blue Shark torpedoes in two triple tubes as well as two Otobreda 76mm guns and three Otobreda 40mm Close in Weapon Systems.

However, local media report that the frigate is to be delivered with only two 76mm cannons and four 30mm. Missiles and torpedoes launchers will be removed. Leaving the vessel to function primarily as an Offshore Patrol Vessel.

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Whilst there will no doubt be hysteria in some parts of the media and no doubt lengthy articles by Retired Admirals stating that the UK must respond by disbanding the RAF and spending the money on a fleet of new battleships to defend against this new threat this is actually not a bad development. An elderly Ulsan Class Frigate stripped of most of its offensive armament (more a Corvette actually) is not going to change the balance of power. It actually shows how dire a situation the Argentine Navy are in when the best they can hope for at the… Read more »


I think we should help monitor this illegal activity as we are now positioning ourselves as an upholder of the international rules based order.

Funny that China says the same but is very often the culprit.


The Royal Navy and Falklands Islands Government already do, the FIG has its own Fisheries Protection vessel the MV Protegat and one of their BN2 Islanders is fitted with a radar for fisheries patrol.

What they can’t do is chase illegal Chinese trawlers into Argentine waters, improving Argentinas capability in this area is to the Falklands benefit in an economic sense.

Glass Half Full

Argentina takes its fisheries protection seriously, not too surprising when you read the details on when they sank an illegal Chinese fishing vessel.


You raise an interesting point – why shouldn’t we disband the RAF?



Because it is an utterly impractical, wasteful and costly exercise to disband the RAF.


“An elderly Ulsan Class Frigate stripped of most of its offensive armament (more a Corvette actually)”

What’re the odds, assuming that this actually happens (not thinking of almost every one of their announced acquisitions of military hardware over the past decade), that by the time it reaches Argentina it won’t be an elderly light guided missile frigate without the missiles but a fully functioning state-of-the-art cruiser, at least in the Argentinian media?

George Amery

Hi folks hope are all well.
Yes very interesting article, can we look deeper into the issue as this may be an opportunity for Argentina to commence with some form of threat to our military presence on the islands. Obviously there is no match to our superior force, however, no doubt the Argies will use this latest matter to enforce their claims of retaking the Falklands back. Well let them have a go then!
All the best,


Read my answer above, this represents all but zero threat to our military presence on the Falklands.



Can you expand on why you think this is an opportunity for Argentina to commence some sort of threat to the British presence in the Falklands? Argentina of today is completely different to Argentina of nearly 40 years ago….

George Amery

Hi there, sorry for the late reply.
Well we all re aware of political issues and concerns for the Argentine economy. In the event of home issues becoming uncomfortable for the current Government, deflection could be diverted to consider retaking the Islands thus posing threats of military action, and public being diverted away from home issues. It has happened before and the UK needs to be alert of any Argentine military assets. Let’s all hope we do not return to the dark days of 1982!


The Argentinian government can make all the noise they like, but they lack even the capability to threaten the OPV, flight of Typhoons, and local troops currently based on the islands. With no active fighter aircraft and little to no air defences on their ships, it doesn’t matter that the Typhoons don’t have ASMs; they can just bomb any incoming hostiles with relative impunity. This “new” frigate/OPV doesn’t change the metric in any meaningful way.

If they ever scrape up the money to buy some surplus Russian or Chinese combat aircraft, then we can actually consider them a potential threat.


From an impartial point of view this may seem like a good deal for Argentina, as it provides them with a means to procure “cheap” vessels for their Navy. I suspect they are very wary of going down the Chinese route as there would be a lot of caveats with the deal; as many small Pacific island countries are now finding out when they used Chinese loans to improve their infrastructure. To be honest Argentina is not in a happy place at the moment, the last two years have seen a number of well published accidents that has significantly reduced… Read more »


Wonder if they’ll use it like the Spanish Armada at Gib recently and parade around Falklands waters blaring their national anthem… YEAH that’ll show you guys! 😀



Does it come with a Hyundai 5 year unlimited mileage warranty?


Yes, it did! But it expired 30 years ago!


The warranty is only good for the original (first) owner. The second owner has the opportunity to buy an extended warranty, but has limited coverage compared to the OEM warranty. Furthermore the ship has to be brought back to the selling shipyard for any warranty related repairs. Wear and tear of equipment is not covered…
Sorry, use to be in car sales…


Depends which yard built it, four different contractors built the Ulsan class in three batches. Talking seriously this vessel is a being gifted to Argentina, usually the terms of such transfers are the gifting nation does a refit of the vessel in one of their domestic yards paid for by the nation receiving the gift. After that the Ulsan class is pretty basic, the propulsion, sensor and weapons fit (once the Torpedos and Missiles have been removed) are off the shelf from the US and Europe. Product support will be available from the OEM for things like the LM2500 and… Read more »

Steve Martin

I think it could be just what they need to get engineering experience etc back up to standard, that is unless they intend on rushing it into service in some half-cocked idea of a show of force.


Didn’t the North sink a similar South Korean corvette a few years ago? Their utility does not seen that brilliant.


They did albeit it was a smaller Pohang class Corvette the ROKS Cheonan. The sinking was at night and the Corvette was close to an Island making detection of underwater targets difficult. Parts of a North Korean CHT-02D torpedo were found amongst the wreckage of the Cheonan.


While we build type 26 frigates and 31s.

andy reeves



Andy, having problems with the Caps Lock on the keyboard?


I wish!


The Frigate looks to me to be stacked up awfully high.

Mike Saul

Thinking the same thing, have to wonder now she will cope in the waters of the South Atlantic during a storm


Turret A is normally at deck level and B turret should be where turret A is. That’s why it looks a bit odd and top-heavy!

Mike Saul

Chances of Argentina using military action against the Falklands are virtually zero, they simply don’t have the military assets to achieve anything


Lets not send to fleet just yet!


I am more worried about the prospect of China mass producing cheap & modern frigates and using them as barter with all sorts of countries that you wouldn’t want rapidly uparmed.


They already are. The TLDM (Royal Malaysian Navy) contract for 4 Littoral Mission Ships was recently renegotiated with China. Please see the link below from the Malaysian Defence, our local version of the UK Defence Journal: No surprise that this e-magazine has its own cast of commentators as well… China has been investing greatly in Malaysia. Among other projects, they are also participating in a multi-million dollar contract in building a railway line. This line will cut through the central mountain range in peninsula Malaysia to link the more rural East Coast to the more urban West Coast. This… Read more »

Nick C

Two points Andy. Firstly your caps lock seems to be stuck. Secondly I was in Buenos Aires last November and December and I can assure you it is not a backward dump. I went with all the prejudices, my best man died in the conflict in 1982, and I can assure you that they as a country have largely moved on. The claim on the islands is still there, but they are very much focussed on a global future, and seem to be able to elect politicians who are starting to get things done. We could possibly learn from them… Read more »


So it’s official. There is no threat to the Falklands. This in addition to the thread about Russian jets shouting their own compatriots down and crashing into the sea off Syria leads me to believe that the global threat is overblown by military men and their supporters. We should rationalise the budget further and spend on projects with a social good resulting from expenditure rather than rusting equipment.


Tell that to the people of salisbury.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Apart from not being able to get into my gym for three months, we’re largely over it


Iqbal, I am intrigued as to how it is possible to shout a plane down. Just goes to show the superiority of Russian technology. Hang on, there is a Cessna 172 stooging around over the village…now where is my anti-Brexit Megaphone?


Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, iqbal, you are not trolling very well at the moment son are you.


Let’s not forget, the Argentinians also Inked a deal with South Korea on the F/A-50 Golden Eagles as well.



That is not conformed, it looks like the South Korean press got ahead of itself! By all accounts the Argentine President favours the FA-50 but there just isn’t the money in their defence budget to even service the repayments on a loan to buy them, a situation exasperated by their dire national credit rating!

A fair amount of recent equipment like the Super Entendard SEM and the Ulsan frigate have been gifted.


Can’t help thinking we could be selling the Argies some refurbed Hawks. Build bridges , no threat…


Oh bore off andy reeves! This is a serious site for serious discussion, Argentina is neither a dump or backwards. For a long time it was the wealthiest and most developed nation in all of South America. Certainly the UK should maintain a watchful eye and maintain a strong deterrence on the Falkland Islands to avoid them getting ideas but arguably Argentina is one of the more civilised nations in South America with a developed society that we are better off engaging with and promoting a Peaceful relationship! South Korea is a sovereign democratic country that is free to deal… Read more »


Not to mention that there is a substantial number of British expats living there for decades.

morgan strauss

this is only a gift, probably to asure the deal for few t50 korean airplanes that argentina really need. also a way to boost the capacity to denied economic zones to the chinese fishing fleets, something korea, and all western countries, like. the armed forced of argentine are in their worst moment, virtually 20 or 30 years behind any modern forces. the air force dont have supersonic jets, only a few A4 without weapons, and some coin airplanes. the army have munitions only for minutes, the Tanks are obsoletes and mostly inoperatives the navy dont have submarines, just some corvettes/meko… Read more »


Better English Morgan than many on this site!


Quick, panic everyone! We need a T45, 3x T23, 4 more squadrons of Typhoon and a brigade of infantry and heavy armour stationed there now! Maybe one of the carriers too? This new frigate posses a major threat and we must react strongly, failure to do so would be totally sensible.

Mark Lawrenson

Philippines has got the same ship, for free as well, Its well past its sell by date, cant see Argentina getting much use out of it.

Steve Taylor

This reminds of reading a ‘story’ about how the old T41 were seen as ideal ships for South American ‘visits’ because despite their deficiency in speed and size having two twin mounts they looked impressive. I think it is more ‘apocryphal’ than absolutely true.


I would like to know what happened with the research into a maritime version of the brimestone. Pretty light missile added to the river2 could make them significantly more useful. The issue with their current armament is it’s too light to take on another warship and so won’t be used in the event of a war but too heavy to be used against pirates and so will never be fired in anger. Remove it and replace it with a brimestone launcher and they come useful for protecting support vessels against light attack crafts. Either that or buy better helicopters for… Read more »


The Brimestone/Sea Spear is still part of the MBDA maritime missile inventory, but I don’t believe they’ve had any buyers yet. They also make the Sea Venom, which is the missile designed to replace the Sea Skua. This is being fitted to the FAA Wildcats. It has very similar targeting characteristics as the Brimestone but it is at least twice as heavy with longer range. It is intended for targeting medium to large ships and coastal defences. The other missile the Navy are getting is the Martlet, this uses components of the Starstreak anti aircraft missile but uses a smaller… Read more »


Can’t help but think that now would be a good time to reclaim Patagonia in the name of Wales.


What’s a hand frigate? And when did they get their first one?


That comment deserves a “face palm” gif, but this site does not allow it.

Please don’t ask what a “face palm” gif is.

BTW, look up what “second hand” means.