The Brazilian Navy has commissioned its newest helicopter carrier PHM Atlântico (A 140) during a ceremony at the Royal Navy’s Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth, UK on June 29.
The ceremony was attended by the Brazilian Navy Chief of Staff, Fleet Admiral Ilques Barbosa Junior, the Brazilian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Eduardo dos Santos, and the Royal Navy Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Ben Key.
Brazil purchased the multipurpose helicopter carrier, formerly HMS Ocean (L12), for £84 million from UK after the Royal Navy decommissioning it after 20 years of service. She was upgraded and refitted by Babcock and BAE Systems before being transferred to the Brazilian Navy.
The command of the ship was assumed by Capt. Giovani Corrêa, and together with Patrícia Monteiro da Costa, godmother of the ship, conducted the first ceremonial raising of the Brazilian flag.
The ship will add important amphibious capabilities and naval operations with embarked helicopters to the Brazilian Navy, allowing it to maintain the safety of the South Atlantic and the defense of the country’s maritime interests across the globe.
The helicopter carrier package for Brazil included an Artisan 3D search radar, KH1007 surface surveillance radar system, four 30 mm DS30M Mk 2 remote weapon systems and four Mk 5B landing craft. However, the three original 20 mm Mk 15 Block 1B Phalanx close-in weapon systems (CIWS), the torpedo defence systems and 7.62 mm M134 machine guns were removed from the ship before its transfer to Brazil.
PHM (Porta-Helicópteros Multipropósito, multi purpose helicopter carrier) Atlântico displaces 21.578 tonnes, is 203.43 m long and has a range of 8,000 nautical miles.
The ship is designed to operate up to seven aircraft on deck and 12 more in its hangar, and can transport 500 to 800 Marines and land them by heli-transport or by sea, thanks to its four landing craft, from a distance of up to 200 miles from the coast (about 321 km).
The vessel is scheduled to reach its homeport, Arsenal do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ), on 25 August, after undergoing operational sea training under the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) programme.