Employees joined guests from the Brazilian Navy and UK Royal Navy, to watch as members of the ship’s company raised the ensign for the first time, formally marking the handover of the Brazilian Navy’s newest vessel.
Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships business, said: “We are extremely proud to deliver Araguari. She is a highly capable ship, and with her sister ships, will be a great asset to the Brazilian Navy.
“We have written a new chapter in BAE Systems’ relationship with Brazil with the completion of the Amazonas class of ships. We look forward to continued partnership with the Brazilian Navy for many years to come.”
Vice Admiral Francisco Deiana, the Brazilian Navy’s Director of Naval Engineering, said:
“The three Amazonas class units make up an important contribution to both our ability to provide security, safety and protection to the Brazil’s Jurisdictional Waters and to deliver our commitments to the Brazilian Maritime Authority.
He went on to say: “Araguari, the third and last vessel, together with her sisters are no doubt a very important asset to the Brazilian Navy’s inventory and is a clear indication of a very good relationship that has been developed between the Brazilian Navy and BAE Systems.”
First of the class, Amazonas, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in June 2012. The second ship, APA, was completed in November of last year.
During the preparation of the three ships, Portsmouth has hosted 250 Brazilian crew members as they underwent extensive training and preparation to take ownership of the new ships.
The Ocean Patrol Vessels will provide Brazil with enhanced maritime capability. With a 30mm cannon and two 25mm guns, as well as two rigid inflatable boats and a helicopter flight deck capable of landing a medium-sized helicopter, the ships are ideal for performing maritime security in Brazil’s territorial waters, including the protection of the country’s offshore oil and gas reserves. The vessels accommodate a crew of 80, with additional accommodation for 40 embarked troops or passengers and ample deck space for container storage.
The three ship contract, announced in January 2012, also includes a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil, helping to support the country’s naval re-equipment programme and strengthen its maritime industrial capability.