Amazonas to make a splash in Brazil as BAE set to deliver first OPV
Posted: 06/26/2012 12:00:00 AM EDT
This week BAE Systems will deliver the first of three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) to Brazil as part of the £133 million deal it struck earlier this year.
The OPV, named Amazonas, will be handed over to Brazil on Friday. Originally the three ships were to be built for Trinidad and Tobago but the contract was cancelled following schedule and design issues. The new deal with Brazil now includes a manufacturing license for the Brazilians to continue to build additional OPVs indigenously.
Several weeks before the announcement of the deal with Brazil, Rear Admiral Francisco Deiana, the Brazilian Navy’s Director of Engineering, informed a Defence IQ delegation of the country’s plans for expanding its offshore patrol fleet given the immediate maritime challenges it faces.
“Natural resources, maritime traffic, and the biodiversity of the Brazilian jurisdictional waters represent strategic national interests subject to risk associated to unauthorised presence of ships, drug trafficking, smuggling, piracy, illegal fishing, terrorism and marine pollution,” he said.
“In order to protect the Blue Amazon, and to act properly in Search and Rescue duties, the Brazilian Navy must be equipped with compatible naval assets to act both in coastal and blue waters”, Deiana continued.
“The Brazilian Navy understands that the OPV is the most suitable asset to carry out this task, especially in peacetime…thus, the programme is currently one of highest priority for us.”
The Amazonas weighs 2,200 tonnes fully loaded and carries a 30mm cannon and two 25mm guns. The OPV can accommodate a crew of 70 and has a helicopter flight deck and rigid inflatable boat. Top speed is said to be in excess of 25 knots
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