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Portugal issues tender for final tranche of Viana do Castelo OPVs

Portugal is acquiring an additional six Viana do Castelo-class OPVs to complement its four existing units. (Janes/Victor Barreira)

Portugal's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a tender for the acquisition and construction of six additional Viana do Castelo-class Navio de Patrulha Oceanico (NPO) offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Portuguese Navy.

The tender, which includes a review of the engineering project, construction of the ships, and integrated logistics support (ILS), is open to shipyards or consortiums from the European Union and NATO.

Interested competitors have 33 days once the tender is sent for publication in the Official Journal of the European Union to deliver their proposals for the NPO3S programme, which is worth EUR300 million (USD320.5 million).

Three bidders will be then downselected for the negotiations phase, which is expected to culminate with a contract awarded to one of them.

The construction of the first ship must start no more than 12 months after the contract becomes effective.

The Portuguese Navy intends to commission the six OPVs between 2026 and 2030, the service told Janes. One OPV is planned to be received every year from 2026 to 2029, with the remaining two units to be delivered in 2030, according to the delivery schedule seen by Janes.

The NPO design has an overall length of 83.1 m, a beam of 12.95 m, and a displacement of 1,850 tonnes. The engineering project for the OPV was earlier delivered by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to Portugal.

This third NPO series will include new equipment and operational capabilities, better surveillance capabilities, greater interoperability, and the capability to operate unmanned vehicles, the navy told Janes.

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