NPa 500-BR offshore patrol vessel is being developed by the Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON) in partnership with Centro de Projetos de Navios (CPN), primarily for the Brazilian Navy.
The Ministry of Defense of Brazil placed a contract with EMGEPRON and CPN to design and develop a new patrol vessel in April 2015. The preliminary design was completed in October 2016, and the design concept was launched during the LAAD Defense and Security exhibition held in Brazil in April 2017.
EMGEPRON announced plans to export the NPa 500-BR ship to international markets, such as Africa, South America and Asia, in August 2017. A model of the patrol vessel was exhibited at the Rio International Defense Exhibition 2018 (RIDEX 2018), which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2018.
A tender for the construction of the vessel is expected to be issued in 2018.
The patrol boat is designed to perform multiple missions, including patrolling, surveillance, combat, military aid, search-and-rescue (SAR), and prevention of marine pollution in exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
It is also used to counter drug trafficking, smuggling and illegal fishing in EEZs.
NPa 500-BR offshore patrol vessel design and features
The NPa 500-BR patrol vessel will have a steel hull, while its superstructure will be built using aluminium. It will have a length of 57.2m, beam of 8.76m and maximum draught of 2.58m.
With a loaded displacement of 592t, the ship can carry up to 43 crew members.
The ship’s navigation bridge will be outfitted with SICONTA tactical control system to perform threat evaluation, weapon management, target tracking, electronic warfare control and analysis of sensor data.
Up to two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) can be carried at the ship’s stern to conduct patrol and transportation duties at sea. The launch and recovery of RHIBs will be performed using a crane.
The patrol vessel can also be equipped with a SICAV damage monitoring and control system as well as a propulsion monitoring system.
NPa 500-BR armament
The patrol boat can be armed with a remotely operated 40mm L/70 automatic anti-aircraft gun for engaging high-speed enemy aircraft flying at low altitudes. Mounted in the bow section, the gun will offer a rate of fire of 240 rounds a minute.
An Oerlikon 20mm GAM-B01 machine gun will be installed amidships on both port and starboard sides to offer protection against aircraft.
The patrol vessel can be optionally armed with a SIMBAD-RC remotely controlled anti-air self-defence system to provide self-protection for the ship. Located amidships, the lightweight twin launcher can deploy MISTRAL surface-to-air missiles, which will be effective against threats, including combat aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles and unmanned aircraft.
A CORCED gyro-stabilised lightweight weapon station, capable of mounting 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns, can be fitted optionally for additional protection.
Navigation and communications
The NPa 500-BR patrol boat can be fitted with optical-electrical sight, comprising TV and infrared cameras, to provide observation, surveillance, target identification and tracking, as well as fire control. The device also integrates a laser rangefinder to identify and designate targets.
A communications antenna, to be mounted on top of the navigation bridge, will be equipped with 3D surface search and navigational radars for navigation and surface surveillance.
An optional long-range acoustic device (LRAD) can be installed for long-range communications along with an electronic warfare suite for radio jamming capability.
Propulsion and performance of NPa 500-BR patrol boat
The patrol vessel will feature combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system, consisting of two V16, four-stroke-cycle Caterpillar 3516C marine diesel engines. The power generating capacity of the engine will be between 1,230bkW and 2,525bkW. The ship will also feature a 200kW bow thruster.
It will offer a maximum speed of 20k and can travel up to a distance of 2,800nmi at a speed of 13k. The autonomy of the NPa 500-BR patrol vessel will be 20 days.