The modern Peruvian Navy fields one cruiser-type warship and this vessel - BAP Almirante Grau (CLM-81) - also serves as its flagship. Originating as a warship for the Dutch Navy in 1953 (HNLMS De Ruyter (C801) (detailed elsewhere on this site), Almirante Grau was acquired by the Peruvians on March 7th, 1973 and formally commissioned for service in the Peruvian Navy on May 23rd, 1973. She makes her homeport at Callao and fights under the motto of "Poder y Gloria" (translating to "Power and Glory"). She holds an active service status as of this writing (2016).
BAP Almirante displaces 9,680 tons under standard loads and 12,165 tons under full loads. Her design stretches some 615 feet with a beam of 57 feet and draught of 22 feet. Her crew complement is divided into 47 officers and 606 enlisted personnel. Installed drive power is from 4 x Werkspoor-Yarrow 3-drum boilers feeding 2 x De Schelde Parsons geared steam turbines developing 85,000 horsepower while driving 2 x shafts under stern. She can make headway at 32 knots and reach out to distances of 7,900 miles. Armor protection includes up to 76mm at the belt, 125mm at the turrets and 125mm at the conning tower. BAP Almirante Grau is outfitted with various systems that cover early warning, surface search, fire control and navigational portions of her operations.
Armament includes 8 x OTOmat Mk.2 series Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSMs) of Italian origin. Conventional weapon is comprised of 8 x 152mm /53 caliber Bofors guns seated in four twin-gunned turrets - this makes up her main battery. Her secondary battery is 4 x 40mm /70 caliber OTO Melara guns. 2 x Matra Defense "Dagaie" launchers and 1 x "Sagaie" launcher provide onboard decoy service.
BAP Almirante Grau began her Peruvian tenure in July of 1973. From the period spanning 1985 to 1988, she was given a major refit by the Dutch which broadened her tactical and strategic capabilities considerably. She was given all modern sensors and processing systems, lost some of her more conventional guns and saw her hull-mounted sonar fit removed. The OTOmat missile suite was added in 1993 as were the 40mm guns. The radar system was eventually replaced with a more modern AN/SPS-6 series fit.
Despite it being listed as a "guided missile cruiser" in some publications, the Almirante Grau is mainly a gun-minded cruiser warship first and foremost - becoming the last of its kind anywhere in the world. Compared to guided missile destroyers now seen in the United States Navy and across the various navies of European powers, the Almirante Grau is an outdated naval warship design of limited value in a modern naval war. Many modern navies have pulled away from reliance on cruisers - instead broadening the inherent capabilities of frigates, destroyers and corvettes.