BAV Aragua (CL-1916 (CLA-1939))


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The most modern cruisers when the ships arrived in Venezuelan waters in 1922, they were big powerful ships for their time. 20 years later the world and other cruisers had passed them by. Like other old light cruisers the two ships of the class were slated to become anti-aircraft cruisers that could act as escorts to either the battlefleet or the fast reaction fleet.

The original main armament of 12 x 5.1" in single mounts were replaced by utilising the same 5.1" guns but fitting them into the US twin (5") turrets. Lots of smaller AA guns in 40mm and 20mm sizes were fitted over further refits in 1942 and 1944. Radar and other detection gear was fitted to the ships during the 1942 refit.

The new bridge superstructures funnels and other equipment was copied from the Carabobo class cruisers that were under construction at the same time as these ships were undergoing refurbishments. Torpedoes were to be fitted but the space provided aft of the fore funnel was filled with another set of quad 40mm guns on each broadside.


Displacement 6,900 tons std 9,800 tons full load
Length 537.5 ft
Breadth 53 ft
Draught 18.5 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 50,000shp
Speed 29 knots
Range 5000 miles at 15 knots (2,200 nm at 27 knots)
Armour 3" side, 1" deck, 1.5" turrets
Armament Original 1916.

12 x 5.1" (12x1)



US Upgrade 1939

10 x 5.1" (5x2)

20 x 40mm (5x4)

20 x 20mm (20x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 780
Notes BAV Aragua

BAV Yaracuy


With twin AA guns on bow, part of 1930's additions before rebuilding to AA cruiser.


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