When Diner en Blanc took place in Jamaica last year, someone whispered it was not going to be long before it hit Trinidad’s shores.
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Brazil acquires three ships built for T&T
The Brazilian Navy has signed a contract worth £133 million with BAE Systems for the supply of three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services. The contract also contains a manufacturing licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil. The three 90-metre vessels, originally constructed for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, will provide the Brazilian Navy with enhanced maritime capability in the near term, pending the acquisition of future ships under its PROSUPER programme (Brazil’s current surface ship acquisition plan). The first two ships will be delivered this year and the third will follow in early 2013.
As part of the manufacturing licence, a design information package is provided which will contain the relevant design and manufacturing information to enable the Brazilian Navy to construct further Ocean Patrol Vessels in Brazil, helping to support the country’s naval re-equipment programme and strengthen Brazil’s maritime industrial capability. Andrew Davies, managing director of BAE Systems’ maritime business, said: “This is a significant step forward in our relationship with Brazil. “The Ocean Patrol Vessels are highly capable ships and I am sure they will be a tremendous asset to the Brazilian Navy,” he said. “We are looking forward to working together and hope this will be the start of a long-term partnership with Brazil in the maritime sector.”
Rear Admiral Francisco Deiana, the Brazilian Navy’s director of Naval Engineering, said: “The acquisition of these three Ocean Patrol Vessels from BAE Systems will make an important contribution to both our ability to provide security and protection to Brazil’s jurisdictional waters and to deliver our commitments to the Brazilian Maritime Authority. “This procurement does not change the scope of our PROSUPER programme for the acquisition of future ships which also includes a further five Ocean Patrol Vessels of c.1,800 tonnes to be constructed in Brazil,” he added. The Ocean Patrol Vessels are capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots and weigh 2,200 tonnes fully loaded. With a 30mm cannon and two 25mm guns, as well as a helicopter flight deck and a rigid inflatable boat, the ships are ideal for performing maritime security roles in Brazil’s territorial waters.
Designed to accommodate a crew of up to 70, with additional accommodation for 50 embarked troops or passengers and ample deck space for container storage, the vessels are also effective for search-and-rescue and disaster relief operations. The ships were originally built by BAE Systems for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago under a contract signed in 2007. This contract was terminated in late 2010 and BAE Systems has since marketed the vessels to interested countries. The first ship was constructed at the BAE Systems Portsmouth facility and the other two at its shipyard on the Clyde.
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