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8 August 2022

NAM Atlantico Multi-Purpose Aircraft Carrier, Brazil

NAM Atlantico was purchased by the Brazilian Navy to replace its decommissioned aircraft carrier Sao Paulo.
The NAM Atlantico (A140) multi-purpose aircraft carrier is the flagship vessel of the Brazilian Navy. Credit: Marinha do Brasil/Wikipedia.
NAM Atlantico is expected to remain in service with the Brazilian Navy for up to 30 years. Credit: Marinha do Brasil/Wikipedia.
The aircraft carrier can accommodate 40 vehicles and up to 18 helicopters. Credit: Brazilian Navy/Wikipedia.

NAM Atlantico (A140) is a multi-purpose aircraft carrier built by the Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering shipyard, part of BAE Systems. It serves as the flagship vessel of the Brazilian Navy.

The vessel replaced the Brazilian Navy’s Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier Sao Paulo (A12), which was decommissioned in 2017.

The NAM Atlantico was originally developed as an amphibious assault helicopter carrier and entered service with the UK Royal Navy as HMS Ocean in September 1998. HMS Ocean served in the UK Royal Navy for 20 years before being purchased by the Brazilian Navy in January 2018.

The Brazilian Navy commissioned the ship as PHM Atlantico in June 2018, following the decommissioning of the HMS Ocean in March 2018.

Atlantico sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from its previous homeport in Plymouth, UK, and was docked in Rio de Janeiro in August 2018. It was reclassified as NAM Atlantico to serve as a multi-purpose aircraft carrier in 2020.

The warship is expected to be operational for 20 to 30 years.

Joint naval exercise conducted with NAM Atlantico

The NAM Atlantico participated in Operation Poseidon 2021, which was conducted about 50km off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The interoperability exercise involved crew and aircraft from the Brazilian Navy, Brazilian Army, and Brazilian Air Force in a joint operation aboard the vessel.

NAM Atlantico aircraft carrier design and features

The vessel has an overall length of 203m, beam of 34m, and draught of 6.5m. With a displacement of 21,758t, it can travel to a range of up to 8,000 miles (12,874km) at a maximum speed of 18kt.

The ship is manned by 303 crew members and can transport about 800 marines. It can carry 40 vehicles and up to 18 helicopters, such as EC725 Caracal, S-70B Seahawk, and AS350 Ecureuil.

It features a large flight deck, a hangar deck, helicopter lifts, and a vehicle deck with two elevators. It can also carry boats and landing craft, including a Pacific 22 Mk2 seaboat and four LCVP Mk5B landing craft.

Sensors and radars

Atlantico is fitted with BAE Systems’ advanced radar target indication situational awareness and navigation (ARTISAN) Type 997 naval surveillance radar and associated DNA2 combat management system (CMS).

ARTISAN is a software-driven radar, which can monitor more than 900 objects simultaneously at a range between 200m and 200,000m. It provides surface and air surveillance and air traffic management of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

The vessel is also equipped with a Type 1008 navigational radar and two Type 1007 aircraft control radars.

Electronic warfare and armaments

The warship is fitted with electronic warfare including UAT electronic support measures, DLH decoy launchers, and surface ship torpedo defence (SSTD).

It is armed with four 30mm DS30M Mk2 guns, four miniguns and eight general purpose machine guns.

Propulsion system

The aircraft carrier is powered by two Crossley Pielstick 12-cylinder diesel engines built by Crossley Brothers, part of Rolls-Royce.

Contractors involved

Babcock International Group signed a four-year contract with the Brazilian Navy to provide a life support package for the NAM Atlantico, including maintenance planning and delivery, technical advice, and knowledge transfer, in April 2022.

It will support the navy in the development of the aircraft carrier’s spares management system. The support contract also covers delivery of technical training packages to crew onboard the ship and personnel at the naval base, and the development and installation of upgrades on the ship.

BAE Systems signed a five-year contract with the Brazilian Navy to support the ship’s ARTISAN radar in July 2022.

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