Home Europe Portugal buying six more Viana do Castelo-class patrol vessels

Portugal buying six more Viana do Castelo-class patrol vessels

Navios Patrulha Oceânicos
Portuguese Navy file photo of a Viana do Castelo-class OPV

Portugal’s Council of Ministers has approved the purchase of six more Viana do Castelo-class ocean patrol ships (Navios Patrulha Oceânicos).

The new ships, which will join the four already in service, are intended for the control of the maritime space under Portuguese sovereignty or jurisdiction, and will also have capabilities for civilian use, Portugal’s defense minister João Titterington Gomes Cravinho explained.

The Portuguese Navy received the first four ships in the class between 2011 and 2019. The 83-meter vessels displace 1,850 tons and feature a 30mm Oto Melara Marlin system, two 7.62 mm light machine guns, as well as two launching systems for MK55 Mod 2 mines.

The dual use of NPOs will be fundamental for the fulfillment of other civilian missions, such as fisheries inspection, prevention and combating of maritime pollution and illegal activities such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, trafficking in persons or weapons and other illicit acts, the defense ministry explained.

The construction of these six ships will also represent an important stimulus for the defense industries, defense minister Cravinho added.

The contract for the six ships is worth 352 million euros and will see the first of the six units delivered before the end of 2023.