fighting ships of the world



INDEPENDENCIA light aircraft carriers (1945-1946/1958-1968)

Independencia 1960

Independencia 1968

Veinticinco de Mayo 1980

Veinticinco de Mayo 1990

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Independencia (ex-Warrior) V1 1224 Harland & Wolff, Belfast, UK 12/12/1942 20/5/1944 14/3/1946 // 8/7/1959 sold 3/1971
Veinticinco de Mayo (25 de Mayo) (ex-Karel Doorman, ex-Venerable) V2 1126 Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, UK 3/12/1942 30/12/1943 17/1/1945 // 8/10/1968 stricken 2/1997


Displacement standard, t

V1: 13350

V2: 15892

Displacement full, t

V1: 18300

V2: 19896

Length, m

192.0 pp 211.2 oa

Breadth, m

24.4 wl

V2: 24.4 wl 36.9 fd

Draught, m

V1: 7.09 deep load

V2: 7.60

No of shafts



Parsons geared steam turbines, 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Power, h. p.

V1: 40000

V2: 42000

Max speed, kts

V1: 25

V2: 24

Fuel, t

V1: oil 3196

V2: oil 3200

Endurance, nm(kts) 12000(14)


V1: 1 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 9 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 22 aircraft (F4U Corsair fighters)

V2: 12 x 1 - 40/70 Bofors Mod 1958, 22 aircraft (S-2A Tracker ASW planes, SH-34J helicopters)


V1: type 277, 279, SPS-6C radars

V2: LW-01, LW-02, DA-01, 2x VI-01, ZW-01 radars


V1: 1300

V2: 1500

Aircraft facilities (fd - 5,131m², ha - 2,142m² / 11,355m³), V1: Flight deck: 210.3x24.4m; hangar: 135.6x15.8x 5.3m. Two lifts: 13.7x10.4m, 6.8t. 1 catapult BH-III (6.4t plane was launched at 122km/h). Aircraft fuel stowage: 448,200l.

Aircraft facilities (fd ~ 6,500 m², ha - 2,142m² / 11,355m³), V2: Flight deck: 210.3x36.9m; hangar: 138.7x15.8x 5.3m. Two lifts: 13.7x10.4m, 6.8t. 1 catapult BH-III (6.4t plane was launched at 122km/h). Aircraft fuel stowage: 448,200l.

Year Fighters Attackers ASW planes Training, cargo planes Helicopters
1960, Independencia 20 F4U Corsair --- --- 4 SNJ ---
1966, Independencia --- 14 T-28 Trojan 6 S-2A Tracker --- 4 HSS-1
1982, 25 de Mayo --- 8 A-4Q Skyhawk 4 S-2A Tracker --- 4 SH-3D Sea King
1984, 25 de Mayo 3 Super Étendard 9 A-4Q Skyhawk 4 S-2E Tracker 1 US-2A Tracker 4 SH-3D Sea King

Ship project history: Independencia was purchased from Great Britain in June 1958, in part with funds from the sale of the battleships Moreno and Rivadavia and of the armoured cruiser Pueyrredon. The carrier had been modernized in 1952-53, at which time she received a lattice mast and an enlarged bridge. Three years later she underwent another major refit, being fitted with a 5 angled deck. She was insulated for tropical service and partially air-conditioned. On 6 August 1958 she was named Independencia; on 4 November 1958 the Argentine flag was raised in Portsmouth; on 8 June 1959 the first Argentine naval aircraft operated from her decks; and on 8 July 1959 she commissioned.

    An extensive boiler room fire caused the Karel Doorman to be prematurely decommissioned from Dutch service, but she was extensively rebuilt at Wilton Fijenoord Shipyard and purchased by Argentina. Her boilers were replaced with ones from an uncompleted near-sister, Leviathan. She commissioned in the Argentine Navy on 8 October 1968 and embarked her first aircraft on 3 September 1969.

    Veinticinco de Mayo was air-conditioned. In 1972, Argentina acquired sixteen A-4Q Skyhawks, which have been the backbone of the carrier's air complement, which also includes four S-2As and two helicopters. In 1979, her flight deck was rebuilt and the area increased, two airplane parking positions were added.

Protection: There were mantlets around aircraft torpedoes warheads rooms only. Their thickness was 10mm. Longitudinal watertight bulkheads covered the machinery.

Modernizations: 1981, 25 de Mayo: - 2 x 1 - 40/70, DA-01 radar; + DA-05 radar, CAAIS CCS area of flying deck was slightly enlarged.

1983, 25 de Mayo: - 1 x 1 - 40/70, CAAIS CCS; + SEWACO CCS

1980s, 25 de Mayo: - LW-01, 2x VI-01, DA-05 radars; + LW-08, DA-08, Decca RM1226, VI-109, MM/SPN-720 radars

Naval service: Independencia was placed in reserve in 1970.

 In 1982 25 de Mayo was used in the Falklands conflict. A typical aircraft complement during the months from March to May was eight Skyhawks, four Trackers, and a few general purpose helicopters. The Super Étendard attack aircraft, five of which had arrived in Argentina in the autumn of 1981, could not operate from the carrier. 25 de Mayo was inoperative from June 1986 due to problems with machinery.

Independencia 1965

25 de Mayo 1980

Ivan Gogin, 2015