Argentine Account of the Atlantic Conveyor Sinking

On May 25, 1982, at 4:32 p.m., two Exocet missiles were fired from Super Etendard aircraft, causing significant economic loss for the British.

The operation began at 2:00 p.m. in Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego. Two Super Etendard planes from the Second Air Naval Fighter and Attack Squadron, piloted by Lieutenant Commander Roberto Curilovic and Lieutenant Julio Héctor Barraza, took off heading north parallel to the coast until they reached Puerto Deseado, where they diverted to the He’s looking for a C-130 Hercules for refueling.

The Air Force radars located in Malvinas tracked the movements of the Harrier aircraft on May 21, 22 and 23 and deduced, from the appearance and disappearance on the radar, that some 100 miles east of the islands had some aircraft carriers or ships with landing decks.

The two Super Etendards headed to the area. After refueling, the air-naval units traveled south in a low flight, 20 meters above the sea, to avoid the radar surveillance of the British ships.

At about 60 kilometers from the established area, they went up, opened the radar and both detected a large ship profile. Captain Curilovic’s command was heard and both Super Etendards fired the Exocet missiles. By then the distance to the target had been reduced to 30 km. Enemy radars never noticed their presence.

Both missiles hit the port side of the English ship of 31,600 tons and 212 meters in length, exploding inside and causing an uncontrollable fire that forced the ship to be abandoned.

With its sinking, the enemies lost 10 aircraft (3 Chinook helicopters, a Sea Lynx, another 6 helicopters), which would be used to transport troops within the islands, so this attack forced the English Infantry to walk to Puerto Argentino . Also with the ship sank a complete batch of spare parts for airplanes and helicopters; all the equipment for a brigade of 4,500 men (tents, kitchens, medical supplies, etc.). They may also have carried two Sea Harrier aircraft, a fact never acknowledged by Britain.

They also transported inflatable fuel tanks, 6 supply trucks, combat vehicles, missiles and a vertical landing strip that was to be set up in San Carlos Bay.

At 6:10 p.m., after more than 4 hours in the air, the “steel hawks” landed on the runway. Darkness had already closed over the Rio Grande. That same night, the BBC confirmed that the sunken ship was the container ship “Atlantic Coveyor”. Also, 10 minutes later, a squadron of A4Bs from the Argentine Air Force had sunk the frigate HMS “Coventry” at the entrance to San Carlos Bay.

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