Employees joined guests from the Brazilian and UK Royal Navies, 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 APA to the Brazilian Navy today. She is a highly capable ship and will be a great asset to the Brazilian Navy.
“As we continue to build on our relationship with the Brazilian Navy, our team will now focus on supporting APA’s crew through a comprehensive training programme before she sets sail for Brazil in February. On arrival she will join the Brazilian fleet and her sister ship, AMAZONAS.”
Rear Admiral Francisco Deiana, the Brazilian Navy’s Director of Naval Engineering, said: “The delivery of second of class, APA, will further strengthen our ability to provide security, safety and protection to the Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters, joining her sister AMAZONAS in the Navy’s Rio de Janeiro District Force. The brand new Ocean Patrol Vessel APA is no doubt a very important asset to the Brazilian Navy’s inventory.”
The team has achieved the handover of the second ship APA within a year of signing the £133 million contract for the supply of three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services. The crew will now undertake a rigorous programme of training in areas such as seamanship, electronics and propulsion. The ship will then sail to Plymouth in January for Flag Officer Sea Training, which will include navigation and duty watch training, as well as the development and familiarisation of operational procedures for safety and security.
First of class, AMAZONAS, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in June and arrived in her home port of Rio de Janeiro in early October. Meanwhile, the team continues to work on the third ship, ARAGUARI, in Portsmouth, which is expected to be delivered in April 2013.
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 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 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.