Third Viana Do Castelo-class OPV launched for Portuguese Navy

Portuguese West Sea Shipyards on May 3 launched NRP Sines, the Portuguese Navy’s third Viana Do Castelo-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV).

The shipbuilder said the vessel is set to join the navy by June 2018 and take the place of one of the four decommissioned Baptista de Andrade-class corvettes.

NRP Sines is the first vessel in the class to be built by West Sea Shipyards after the previous two were built by shipbuilder Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo with several years of delays.

NRP Viana do Castelo (P360) and NRP Figueira da Foz (P361) were launched in 2005 and commissioned in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

The construction of NRP Sines and further three vessels in the class was announced in 2016. All four will be built by West Sea Shipyards.

The armament of the new OPVs consists of a 30mm Oto Melara Marlin gun, two 7.62 mm light machine gun mounts as well as two launching systems for MK55 Mod 2 mines.

These vessels are designed to operate unmanned systems and are equipped with a single Sagem SA Vigy 10 MKIII naval surveillance and observation platform, three water cannons, and two rigid inflatable boats.

NRP Sines has a flight deck able to operate a Super Lynx MK95 light helicopter, however no hangar facilities are included. The next OPV to be built is NRP Setubal. She will join the Portuguese Navy by December next year, according to the shipbuilder.

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