Brazil could sign a defence agreement with the UK for the purchase of patrol vessels and frigates worth billions of dollars.

According to media sources, if the agreement is finalised a first deal could involve the purchase of six patrol vessels worth £2.9bn and five to six Type 26 frigates, each costing £300m-£400m.

The first patrol and frigate units will be built in the UK and the rest in Brazilian yards as per the agreement with BAE and Brazilian technology transfer policy.

The vessels will be used for anti-submarine warfare, support for land operations and to protect sea traffic in the oil basins, according to Merco Press.

The Brazilian defence investment is due to the development of the offshore oil industry and its pre-salt deposits which could make the country one of the world’s main producers and exporters.