The Brazilian Navy offshore patrol vessel Amazonas has called on Namibia for a short visit ahead of participation in Exercise Obangame Express.
The vessel (P120) left Brazil on 17 February and arrived in Walvis Bay on 28 February ahead of participation in the Obangame Express 2020 exercise off West Africa. This will be held off the coasts of Angola, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Amazonas departed Walvis Bay on 2 March, with its next stop being Sao Tome.
Obangame Express involves military personnel from Africa, Europe and the Americas. Its aim is to equip participants with maritime security skills to employ in the Guinea Gulf against piracy, drug smuggling and arms trafficking, hijacking, illegal fishing and other illicit activities within the region.
Amazonas has taken part in Obangame Express 2018, and has also visited South Africa, in 2015, and in 2016 took part in Exercise Ibsamar V alongside the South African Navy.
The Brazilian OPV was built by BAE Systems Portsmouth and launched on 18 November 2009 and commissioned on 29 June 2013.
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.