Report: Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean definitely sold to Brazil

HMS Ocean in Beirut. Photo: UK Embassy Lebanon

UK helicopter carrier HMS Ocean has reportedly been bought by Brazil.

The purchase was confirmed by Brazilian defense minister Raul Jungmann, according to UK Defence Journal.

Brazil is reportedly paying £84 million for the UK helicopter carrier which recently returned from her final deployment as a commissioned Royal Navy ship, serving the role of NATO Standing Maritime Group 2 flagship in the Mediterranean.

UK Defence Journal further said the first group of Brazilian officers are to travel to the UK while the vessel is expected to remain in the UK until October or November 2018.

Commissioned in October 1995, the 202-meter long HMS Ocean replaced HMS Bulwark as fleet flagship in June 2015. In her role as a helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship, Ocean is designed to deliver troops by helicopter or by landing craft.

The acquisition of HMS Ocean comes as the Brazilian Navy decided to decommission their only aircraft carrier BNS Sao Paulo (A 12) after it had been determined that the cost of returning the aircraft carrier to an operational status was too high.

After several attempts to improve the ship’s operational capacity failed in previous years, the navy reasoned that a modernization procedure would necessitate heavy investment without a guarantee of operational improvement.

BNS Sao Paulo, formerly known as Clemencau-class FS Foch, was a conventionally-powered aircraft carrier built for the French Navy in 1959. By acquiring the ship in 2000, Brazil became the only country in South America to operate an aircraft carrier.

Last month, the Brazilian Navy also issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the construction of new Tamandaré-class corvettes.

The RFP was announced at the Brazilian Naval Academy by defense minister Raul Jungmann and navy chief Admiral Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira.

Brazil is planning to invest US$1.6 billion to acquire four corvettes in the class with the first unit in the class set to arrive by 2021-22.

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