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Brazilian Army orders armed armoured riverine boats

The LOpRib is intended to lift fully armed combat teams in riverine regions bordering with neighbouring countries to combat smuggling and other illicit activities. (Victor Barreira)

The Brazilian Army has placed an order to the country's state-owned shipyard Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ) to build four LOpRib (Lancha de Operações Ribeirinhas) multimission riverine fast armoured attack crafts to provide further mobility and firepower to combat groups deployed in remote regions of Brazil, the army's Manufacturing Directorate confirmed on 22 September in a statement.

This contract would more than double the number of LOpRib boats being operated by the Brazilian Armed Forces. The LOpRib design is based on the Excalibur craft type developed by the Ladário Fluvial Base.

The Manufacturing Directorate awarded the contract on 21 September to meet the Armoured Boat Type 2 requirement as included in the scope of Armoured Crafts Obtention Project (POEB), part of the wider Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP).

No information was provided on the amount of the contract and delivery schedule.

The LOpRib – featuring a gliding hull made of naval aluminium alloy – measures 8.83 m in length and 2.74 m in width for a displacement of 5.6 kg, and has a maximum range of 800 km at a cruising speed of 12 kt and a maximum speed of 30 kt.

It can be powered by two diesel inboards made by Mercury Marine or Volvo Penta.

Other fittings include communications equipment, navigation systems, electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), electronic support measures (ESM) system, identification friend-or-foe (IFF) interrogator, searchlight, and public address system, as well as weapon mounts for 12.7×99 mm and 7.62×51 mm machine guns.

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