Surface Forces: Brazil Buys British


September 19, 2010: Brazil upgrading its navy, replacing many elderly Cold War era ships. As part of this effort, Brazil is buying six patrol boats and five or six frigates from British shipbuilder BAE. This deal is worth over $4 billion. The patrol boats will be based on the River Class boats used by Britain and several other countries. These are 80 meter (248 foot) long ships displacing 1,700 tons. They carry a crew of 30 and are armed with one 20mm autocannon and two 12.7mm machine-guns. There is a landing deck in the rear for a helicopter. Top speed is 37 kilometers an hour and cruising speed is 12 kilometers an hour. Endurance is about 21 days. Two speedboats are also carried. These will be used to protect fishing grounds and offshore oil fields.

The Type 26 class frigate is still under development, which will allow the Brazilians to participate in setting the specifications. Currently these ships are to be 141 meter (437 foot), 6,800 ton ships. The first one is due to enter service in about a decade. In the Royal Navy, the Type 26 will replace the current 14 Type 22s and 16 Type 23s ships. These two classes are (on average) 5,000 ton warships equipped with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles as well as anti-submarine torpedoes and one or two helicopters. They have crews of 180-250 sailors and the usual set of anti-air and anti-submarine electronics. The Type 26s will have smaller crews, more automation and more modern weapons and electronics.

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