Brazilian Navy's third Amazonas-class OPV sails for sea trials
The Brazilian Navy's third and final BAE Systems-built Amazonas-class ocean patrol vessel (OPV), Araguari (P122), has sailed from Portsmouth to undergo an extensive sea trials programme off the UK coast.
During the two-week maiden sea trials, the ship will validate all of its integrated element's functionalities including its propulsion and combat systems.
BAE Systems Maritime commercial director Nigel Stewart said: "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."
In 2011, the Brazilian Navy placed orders with BAE to deliver three OPVs and ancillary support services, including a manufacturing licence for further vessels of the same class that will be constructed in Brazil.
Based on the UK Royal Navy's River-class OPVs design, the 90m-long Amazonas-class ships will be used by the navy to conduct maritime security in its territorial waters, including protection of the country's oil and gas reserves.
Capable of carrying a crew of 80, with additional accommodation for 40 troops or passengers, the vessel features a 30mm cannon, two 25mm guns, two rigid inflatable boats as well as a helicopter flight deck capable of landing a medium-sized helicopter.
Expected to be delivered to the Brazilian Navy in June 2013, Araguari ship's crew of 81 has already started training to handle the OPV at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, UK.
Amazonas (P120), the first ship of the class, is currently operational with the navy, while the second Amazonas-class OPV APA (P121) is on its delivery voyage.
Image: Brazilian Navy's Araguari-class OPV set sails for sea trials. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.