The Brazilian Navy has taken delivery of the first of three ocean patrol vessels (OPVs) from BAE Systems at Portsmouth Naval Base, US, in support of navy's Prosuper fleet modernisation programme.
Delivery is part of the Brazilian Navy's $186m deal with BAE for the purchase of three OPVs, originally built by BAE for the Trinidad and Tobago coast guard to perform intercepting and emergency relief operations in the Caribbean region.
In addition to providing three already-built 90m-long, 2,200t OPVs, the deal includes an additional £13m for training and support by BAE with an option to locally build another five OPVs to the Brazilian Navy.
BAE Systems's naval ships business managing director Mick Ord said: "The handover of the first ship marks both a significant stage in the programme and the close working relationship we are forming with Brazil.
"I am sure these highly capable vessels will be a great asset to the Brazilian Navy."
Capable of carrying a crew of 70, with additional accommodation for 50 troops or passengers, the vessel features a helicopter flight deck, 30mm and 25mm cannons and can cruise at a speed of 25k when fully loaded.
The deal was originally signed in 2007 for the construction of three OPVs and supported by the UK Government, but was cancelled in September 2010 over delays relating to delivery timelines.
The second and third vessels are scheduled for delivery to the Brazilian Navy in December 2012 and 2013 respectively.
The Brazilian Navy fleet modernisation programme also involves acquisition of five frigate-class boats and one support ship.
Image: BAE-built ocean patrol vessel can cruise at a speed of 25k when fully loaded. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.