RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian navy received its Atlantico helicopter carrier on Thursday, which is an amphibious assault ship acquired this year from the British Royal Navy that allows the simultaneous operation of seven helicopters.
The first Brazilian helicopters landed on the ship Thursday morning, as the Atlantico neared the port of Cabo Frio, east of Rio de Janeiro, after its journey from the United Kingdom.
The helicopter landing maneuvers are part of a series of procedures designed to guarantee the safety of flight operations on the ship prior to its arrival in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, the navy said.
The ship not only allows the simultaneous operation of seven helicopters; it also has the capacity to transport 12 other helicopters in its hangars.
The navy will use the helicopter carrier for maritime surveillance operations, logistical support, disaster relief, and peace operations, as well as for humanitarian missions as a hospital ship.
The helicopter carrier, which was previously known as HMS Ocean, is 203 meters long (666 ft.) from bow to stern and its beam is 35 meters long, weighing 21,578 tons and having a capacity to transport 806 soldiers.
The ship, built by the Kvaerner Govan shipyard in 1988, was used by the United Kingdom during military operations in the Middle East, as well as in peace missions in Central America and Asia.
The Atlantico was bought by Brazil’s Ministry of Defense for some 350 million reais ($88 million) to replace the decommissioned Sao Paulo aircraft carrier.