The Brazilian Navy offshore patrol vessel BNS Amazonas visited Cape Town on a port call earlier this month, and follows a visit in April last year.
According to the South African Navy (SAN), the vessel came alongside at the V&A Waterfront on 8 January after leaving Brazil in December 2015. She was alongside until 12 January, and during her visit her crew paid a courtesy call to SAN Flag Officer Fleet, Rear Admiral Bravo K Mhlana at the Fleet Command Headquarters in Simon’s Town. BNS Amazonas also hosted a return luncheon.
BNS Amazonas is tasked with patrolling Brazil’s territorial waters, including its oil and gas reserves.
The vessel was last in Cape Town between 8 and 13 April 2015. During the last visit, t he South African Navy’s Meko class frigate SAS Isandlwana sailed from Simon’s Town to rendezvous with BNS Amazonas during a PASSEX to conduct Light Line Transfers.
The Brazilian OPV was built by BAE Systems Portsmouth and launched on 18 November 2009 and commissioned on 29 June 2013 as part of the Grouping of Naval Southeast (Brazilian Navy).
The vessel is equipped with a 30 mm cannon and two 25 mm guns, as well as two rigid inflatable boats and a helicopter flight deck capable of landing a medium-sized helicopter. The vessel accommodates a crew of 80, with additional accommodation for 40 embarked troops or passengers and ample deck space for container storage.
The three OPVs in this class acquired by Brazil from BAE Systems 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 since marketed the vessels to interested countries.
The vessel has a displacement of 1700 tons full load, a length of 264 feet (80 meters), beam of 44.3 feet (13.5 meters), draught of 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) and is propelled by two MAN 16V28V/33D diesel engines giving a speed of 25+ knots.
BNS Amazonas is sailing East to take part in exercise Ibsamar V with the South African and Indian navies off the Indian coast in February, following India’s international fleet review.