Friday, January 18, 2019
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Brazilian Ocean Patrol Vessel Amazonas arrives in Rio

altAmazonas, the first of three BAE Systems built Ocean Patrol Vessels being delivered the Brazilian Navy, has arrived in her home port of Rio de Janeiro for the first time after eight weeks at sea.

Following her departure from Portsmouth in August, Amazonas has undertaken a series of trials as well as a series of diplomatic visits in Europe and Africa during her 5000 mile journey. Arriving in Brazil mid-September, Amazonas visited a number of ports including Natal, Salvador and Arraial do Cabo before arriving in Rio on October 5.

Nigel Stewart, Commercial Director of BAE Systems Maritime, said: “As the newest addition to the Navy’s fleet, the arrival of Amazonas in Brazil marks yet another significant and exciting stage in the programme. As we work to deliver the second and third ships, we look forward to building on the close-working relationship we are forming with the Brazilian Navy and hope it is the beginning of a long-term partnership.”

Amazonas and her crew will now undergo an operational assessment before joining the Brazilian fleet. They will then take part in further sea training with the Comissão de Inspeção e Assessoria de Adestramento (Commission for Inspecting and Advising Procedures), which is designed to further ensure the ship is ready to begin her role of maritime safety and security, search and rescue, and humanitarian relief operations.

Brazil signed a £133 million contract for the supply of the three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services in January. The contract also includes a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil, helping to support the country’s naval re-equipment programme and strengthen its maritime industrial capability.

First of class Amazonas was constructed at BAE Systems’ Portsmouth facility. Her sister ships Apa and Araguari were built at the company’s Scotstoun shipyard on the Clyde and are expected to be delivered to the Brazilian Navy in December 2012 and April 2013 respectively. Seven members of the Brazilian Navy will stay in Portsmouth to oversee the delivery of the remaining two ships in the Amazonas class, with the crew for the second ship expected to arrive in the UK later this year.

With a 30mm cannon and two 25mm guns, as well as two rigid inflatable boats and a helicopter flight deck capable of landing a medium-sized helicopter, the ships are ideal for performing maritime security in Brazil’s territorial waters, including the protection of the country’s oil and gas reserves, BAE Systems said. The vessels accommodate a crew of 80, with additional accommodation for 40 embarked troops or passengers and ample deck space for container storage.

The ships were originally built by BAE Systems for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago under a contract signed with the then-Vosper Thornycroft (VT) company in 2007. VT had originally committed to providing the ships in mid-2009 and the Trinidad media suggested the country's government had become increasingly frustrated by the delays. This contract was terminated in late 2010 and BAE Systems has since marketed the vessels to interested countries. The first ship was constructed at the BAE Systems Portsmouth facility and the other two at its shipyard on the Clyde.

The three 90-metre vessels will provide the Brazilian Navy with enhanced maritime capability in the near term, pending the acquisition of future ships under its Prosuper programme (Brazil’s current surface ship acquisition plan), which also includes a further five ocean patrol vessels of around 1,800 tonnes to be constructed in Brazil.

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