The latest addition to the Brazilian Navy’s fleet departed the UK in the snow today for her new home in Rio de Janeiro where she will strengthen Brazil’s maritime security.
APA is the second of three Amazonas Class Ocean Patrol Vessels being delivered to the Brazilian Navy by BAE Systems. Her sister ship, AMAZONAS, completed the crossing last year, while the final ship, ARAGUARI, will be handed over in June.
BAE Systems employees and the Brazilian Navy support team, who are working in partnership to deliver the class of ships, gathered on the dockside at HM Naval Base Portsmouth where she departed.
Her journey of more than 10,000 miles will include diplomatic stops along the West coast of Europe and Africa before crossing the South Atlantic to reach her new home in May.
Nigel Stewart, Commercial Director of BAE Systems Maritime, said: “We’re very proud to watch APA sail off and begin her important role in providing maritime security, search and rescue, and humanitarian relief. This highly capable and versatile ship performed extremely well during training with the Brazilian Navy, which is a great credit to all those who designed, built and delivered her.
“APA’s crew may have departed, but our partnership with the Brazilian Navy continues to grow, as we look forward to welcoming the crew of the next Ocean Patrol Vessel, ARAGUARI.”
APA’s 81 crew members completed Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) around the UK coast last week with the Royal Navy and support from BAE Systems. Their rigorous training schedule included simulations of operations that the ship is designed to undertake, including search and rescue, humanitarian relief, anti-piracy and boarding operations to tackle maritime violations such as trafficking.
Beyond training, the Brazilian Navy crew learnt about life in the UK while living on HM Naval Base Portsmouth, which included English breakfasts and most experiencing their very first snowfall.
The ship’s Commanding Officer, Capitão-de-Fragata Marcelo Considera, said: “Receiving a new ship is a great challenge, which involves many people working in partnership. I believe all of us – BAE Systems, Brazilian Navy, VTFlagship and FOST – worked very well together. The ship and her crew were tested in high intensity training and we are very confident that we possess the ability to fulfill the missions we are assigned, which fills us with enormous pride.”
The £133 million contract for the supply of the three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services 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.
The 90 metre Amazonas Class ships are based on the design of the Royal Navy’s River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels and are ideal for providing maritime security in Brazil’s territorial waters, including the protection of the country’s oil and gas platforms.
The ships are equipped with a 30mm cannon and two 25mm guns, as well as two rigid inflatable boats and a helicopter flight deck. The ship contains additional accommodation for 50, designed for use by a boarding party of troops or passengers such as evacuees.
APA and ARAGUARI were constructed at BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard and completed in Portsmouth, while AMAZONAS was constructed in Portsmouth.