Amazonas Ocean Patrol Vessels
Trinidad and Tobago initially signed a partnership agreement in October 2007 for these three. Since 2008, the (People's National Movement) administration, which placed the original order, was aware of the late delivery of the interim vessels, as well as the push back of delivery of the OPVs. The British MOD advised T&T to "reiterate the importance of the contractual delivery dates" for OPV 1, in time for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port of Spain in November 2009, "which was to be attended by Her Majesty the Queen and for which meetings we had planned to use OPV 1 for security purposes as BAES was aware".
However, BAE failed to meet their own deadline targets in 2009 for delivery of OPV 1 and OPV 2. On 16 May, 2009, the Trinidad and Tobago government issued a notice of default in respect of BAE's failure to deliver OPV 1 by the contractual delivery date. However, a month after, BAE insisted it could meet the OPV schedule as previously forecast—OPV 1 on February 24, 2010, OPV 2 on May 15, 2010 and OPV 3 on November 15, 2010.
On August 14, 2010, T&T minister of National Security John Sandy provided a note to Cabinet in which, having reviewed the regional maritime security requirements, had recommended that government accept the OPVs on the basis of an acceptance agreement put in place that included a rectification plan to correct all outstanding faults, compensation for the diminished capability of the combat system and a re-negotiated compensation package for delayed delivery. The collective T&T Cabinet decision was to terminate the contract on September 16, 2010.
The Brazilian Navy signed a contract worth £133 million with BAE Systems in January 2012 for the supply of three Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services. The contract, announced in January 2012, also included a manufacturing licence to enable up to five further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil, helping to support the country’s naval re-equipment program and strengthen its maritime industrial capability. First of class, AMAZONAS, was constructed at BAE Systems’ Portsmouth facility while her sister ships, APA and ARAGUARI, were built at the company’s Scotstoun shipyard on the Clyde.
Rear Admiral Francisco Deiana Brazilian Navy’s Director of Naval Engineering stated "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".
The Ocean Patrol Vessels 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.
Following her departure from Portsmouth in August 2012, AMAZONAS undertook an intense program of trials as well as a series of diplomatic visits in Europe and Africa during her 5000 mile journey. Arriving in Brazil mid-September 2012, AMAZONAS visited a number of ports including Natal, Salvador and Arraial do Cabo before arriving in Rio de Janeiro.
APA, the second of three Ocean Patrol Vessels built by BAE Systems, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base 30 November 2012. 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.”
Meanwhile, the team continued to work on the third ship, ARAGUARI, in Portsmouth, which was expected to be delivered in April 2013. Araguari, the third of three Ocean Patrol Vessels built by BAE Systems, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base 21 June 2013.
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.”
BAE Systems submitted a detailed proposal to the Brazilian Navy on 26 October 2010 to supply a package of naval vessels to meet its ambitious fleet renewal program through a full technology transfer agreement, with the ships to be built in Brazil.
The proposal came on the back of the recent Defence Cooperation Agreement between the UK and Brazilian Governments and marked the latest step in a move towards greater bilateral trade between the two countries. Based on BAE Systems’ proven ship designs, it includes the provision of five ocean patrol vessels, one logistics support vessel and five escort vessels as well as a comprehensive logistics support service. Importantly, the proposal also sets out arrangements for the UK Government endorsed opportunity of Brazilian partnership in the design and development of the new highly flexible, multi-role Global Combat Ship.
Alan Johnston, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, said: “We believe that this strategic partnership approach, combined with our proven ship designs, will bring strength to Brazilian industry and give the Brazilian Navy confidence in our ability to deliver an effective, affordable solution to meet its future naval capability requirements.”
BAE Systems has a long track record of working with the Brazilian Navy and its involvement can be traced back to Brazil’s Niteroi Class frigates supplied by the Company’s legacy business VT Shipbuilding in the 1970s. The latest proposal builds on this legacy and is designed to meet the objectives set out in Brazil’s National Strategy of Defence to enhance its indigenous industrial capability by enabling the country to develop an independent, sustainable naval shipbuilding and through-life maritime support capability.
“We are in discussions regarding the naval proposal with a number of potential industry partners in Brazil, including shipyards and combat systems developers,” added Johnston. “We are actively working to formalise these agreements and will provide further details in due course.”
The BAE Systems 90 metre Ocean Patrol Vessel included in the proposal was based on the proven River Class vessels in use with the UK Royal Navy. It uses the same core platform as the vessel being built by Bangkok Dock in Thailand under a similar technology transfer agreement, with systems and equipment tailored to the Brazilian Navy’s requirements.
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