Friday, 16 September 2016

Brazilian training ship Brasil

Just after midday yesterday Sue and I made our way down to the site of what used to be called the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich (It now goes by the much more up-market name of Royal Arsenal Riverside!) to watch the Brazilian training ship Brasil sail up the River Thames towards Tower Bridge. The Brasil is making a goodwill visit to London, and will be moored alongside HMS Belfast for a few days.

The ship's design is based upon that of the Niteroi-class frigates, six of which serve with the Brazilian Navy. These were designed by Vosper Thornycroft in the 1970s, and were designated as the Mk 10 Frigate by Vosper Thornycroft. They were the largest of a series or family of ships designed by them for both foreign buyers and the Royal Navy.

The designs produced by Vosper Thornycroft included:
  • The Mk 3 corvettes for Nigeria (the NNS Dorina and NNS Otobo)
  • The Mk 5 frigates for Iran (where they were originally named the Saam-class and later renamed the Alvand-class; the Iranians appear to be building their own up-dated version of the design named the Moudge or Moje-class of which two are in service and another three are under construction)
  • The Mk 7 frigate for Libya (the Dat Assawari)
  • The Mk 9 corvettes for Nigeria (the NNS Erinomi and NNS Enyimiri)
  • Type 21 Frigates for the Royal Navy (now in service with the Pakistan Navy)
The Niteroi-class were built in the UK (four of the class) and Brazil (two of the class) between 1974 and 1980, and the design of the Brasil is basically a less well-armed version of the frigate. As its role is to be the Brazilian Navy's training ship, she also lacks the range of sensors carried by her sisters.

Her characteristics are as follows:
  • Displacement: 3,500 tonnes
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 129.2m
    • Beam: 13.5m
    • Draught: 5.5m
  • Propulsion: 2 x Pielstick/Ishikawajima (Brazil) diesel engines producing 8,000 bhp and powering two propellers
  • Speed: 18 knots
  • Range: 7,000 nautical miles
  • Complement: 415 (26 officers, 69 senior ratings, 120 ratings, 200 trainees)
  • Armament: 2 x Bofors 40 mm Mk3 Sea Trinity anti-aircraft guns; 4 x Hidroar 3APR 47mm cannon; 4 x 50mm rocket launchers
  • Aviation facilities: Capable of carrying one helicopter
Above: Brasil's bridge, showing her sensor outfit and main armament.
Below: Brasil's helicopter hanger.


  1. Surprising modern lines Bob- considering ships of this Class being designed in the 1970s. You certainly have chosen a good vantage spot for your photos. Thanks for posting. Regards. KEV.

    1. Kev,

      Vesper Thornrycroft produced some very modern-looking designs back in the 1970s and 1980s, and the fact that they are currently being copied by the Iranians shows how good those designs were.

      Living close to the River Thames enables Sue and I to go down to the river's bank wherever we want to, and there is always something interesting to see.

      All the best,


  2. Reminds me of the new carriers being built at Rosyth and when will one sail down the Forth in the public eye. Given the geography of the estuary it will be difficult to get close but then they are big ships so should be visible for miles.

    Mind you I once saw the QE2 in the Forth and thought she was awfully small.

    1. Jim Duncan,

      The Port of London Authority publishes a list of ships moving along the Thames, and that enabled Sue and I to know where and when we would be able to see the Brasil sail past.

      Some time ago I bought a bridge camera with a 40 x optical zoom lense, and that makes taking top quality photographs of objects that are some way away quite easy.

      All the best,