Brazilian Navy’s “Apa” Patrol Vessel to Focus on Cooperation with Africa

first_imgBy Dialogo March 27, 2013 The Brazilian Navy’s “Apa” patrol vessel departed on March 11 from Portsmouth Port in the United Kingdom to Brazil, to participate in a joint exercise mission in five African countries. The presence of the vessel in Southern Atlantic waters along the west coast of Africa is part of the Brazilian defense initiatives to increase the cooperation with the nations on that continent. The Apa has already been incorporated into the Brazilian Navy, and will be used mainly to patrol the Blue Amazon or in the oceanic waters near national territory. The Brazilian maritime spaces may reach 1.7 million square feet, an area that corresponds in size to the surface of the Amazon, reason for its name “Blue Amazon”. The Apa is scheduled to arrive in Rio de Janeiro in May, with an initial stop in Mauritania. At the end of last year, the Minister of Defense in Mauritania, Ahmedou Ould Mohamed Radh, visited Brazil to meet with his counterpart, Celso Amorim. At that time, both ministers mentioned the possibility of a joint exercise between the two navies. After Mauritania, the ship will head to Dacar, Senegal; Tema, Gana; Luanda, Angola; and Walvis Bay, Namibia. The visit to the last country was decided in February, when Amorim led an official Brazilian delegation to the country’s capital, Windhoek. At that time, the governments of both countries made a joint statement vowing to strengthen the defense relationships. There will be exercises to demonstrate the anti-piracy and training activities between ships in the five African countries. Part of the Brazilian cooperation in Namibia is through the exercise mission, which includes the participation of approximately 40 military members from the Brazilian Navy based at the Walvis Bay Port, through which the new ship will navigate. Stops in Spain and Portugal are also scheduled. The Apa is the second from a set of three vessels acquired by the Brazilian Navy from the British company BAE Systems. The Navy incorporated the oceanic vessels last year, on November 30, when it received the name “Apa”, a direct reference to a river in Pantanal. The next one, the Araguari, is also scheduled to be incorporated in 2013. The first one to arrive in Brazil was the Amazonas, incorporated by the Navy last year. According to the Brazilian Navy, the main characteristic of the new patrol vessels is their flexibility. They may be used in different tasks, such as naval patrol operations, humanitarian assistances, search and rescue, supervision, crackdown on illegal activities and prevention against water pollution. Apa Specifications Weight: 1,800 tons Total length: 297 feet Maximum transportation: 2,170 tons Maximum speed: 25 knots (equivalent to 28.5 miles/h) Autonomy: 35 days Boarded crew capacity: 51 crew members Cargo transportation capacity: six 15-ton containers Weaponry: one 30mm cannon and two 25mm machine guns Crew: 11 officers, 21 master gunnery sergeants and sergeants, and 48 corporals and seamenlast_img

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