January 10, 2012: Brazil is buying three OPVs (Offshore Patrol Vessel) from Britain, with the option to build five more in Brazil. The three OPVs are from British shipbuilder BAE and are based on the River Class ships used by Britain and several other countries. These corvette size ships will be used to protect Brazilian fishing grounds and offshore oil fields.
The Brazilian OPVs are 90.5 meter (281 foot) long ships displacing 2,200 tons. They carry a crew of 36 (with accommodations for up to 70) and are armed with one 30mm remotely controlled autocannon and two 25mm autocannon (one on each side). There is a landing deck in the rear for a helicopter, or six 20 foot cargo containers (containing supplies or equipment). Top speed is 45 kilometers an hour and cruising speed is 12 kilometers an hour. Endurance is about four weeks. Two speedboats are also carried, along with a 16 ton crane. The ship can be rigged to carry fifty infantry.