The Brazilian Navy’s latest BAE Systems built warship has set sail for the first time to be put through her paces on an extensive programme of sea trials off the UK coast.
ARAGUARI, the third Ocean Patrol Vessel in the Amazonas Class, sailed out of Portsmouth this morning with her BAE Systems crew and Brazilian Navy observers. They will spend two weeks testing all elements of the ship’s functionality, including her propulsion and combat systems.
Members of ARAGUARI’s 81 strong crew have now moved into their new residence on HM Naval Base Portsmouth and have begun training to handle the Ocean Patrol Vessel. The naval base is already home to the Brazilian Navy support team, which is overseeing the delivery of the entire class of ships.
Nigel Stewart, Commercial Director of BAE Systems Maritime, said: “Today is the start of an exciting new stage in the delivery of this highly capable warship, as well as another milestone in our strong partnership with the Brazilian Navy. The BAE Systems team will test ARAGUARI’s performance and work with her crew to ensure they are ready for the challenges that the ship will face when delivered to Brazil to provide maritime security, humanitarian relief and search and rescue.”
Over 250 members of the Brazilian Navy have now been stationed in the UK since the contract was signed at the end of 2011 for three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services, which includes a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil.
AMAZONAS, the first ship in the class, is already in operation after arriving in Brazil while APA, the second ship, is currently on her 10,000 mile delivery voyage. ARAGUARI is scheduled to be handed over to the Brazilian Navy in June.
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 rigid inflatable boats and a helicopter flight deck. There is additional accommodation for 40, designed for use by a boarding party of troops or passengers such as evacuees.