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Portugal orders six modified Viana do Castelo-class OPVs

The new OPVs will complement the navy's four existing Viana do Castelo-class OPVs, which consist of NRP Viana do Castelo , NRP Figueira da Foz , NRP Sines (pictured above), and NRP Setúbal. ( Victor Barreira)

An ambitious effort by the Portuguese Navy to deploy six new Viana do Castelo-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) reached a milestone on 29 December 2023 with the award of a EUR299.7 million (USD329.2 million) contract to the local privately owned shipbuilder West Sea – Estaleiros Navais.

Under the contract, awarded by the Directorate-General of National Defence Resources of the Portugese Ministry of National Defence, the new OPVs are planned to be delivered between 2027 and 2030. They will complement the Portuguese Navy's four existing Viana do Castelo-class OPVs that entered service between 2011 and 2018.

The third tranche of Viana do Castelo-class OPVs will include several new features, including a new mast and electric propulsion with azimuth thrusters, a multisensor gyro-stabilised electro-optical imager, a surface and air surveillance radar, a Mode 5 identification friend-or-foe (IFF) suite, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology, an electronic support measures (ESM) system, towed array sonar, Link 16/22 data link capability, military satellite communications (satcom) terminal, additional armament, and a diving bay.

The boats will include provisions to operate unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), a helicopter, and two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs), and will be able to deploy mission containers and pollution combat equipment.

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