The Brazilian Navy have confirmed the purchase of former French Navy Foudre class vessel Siroco. The ship will be renamed Bahia.
The Foudre class carry large stowage areas which can be used to ferry battle tanks and vehicles, a 52-ton elevating platform, a lateral ramp and a flight deck able to simultaneously operate several helicopters. Three rotations of such ships can ferry a whole armoured regiment with its 22 AMX-30 or Leclerc battle tanks, 44 AMX 10 RC heavy armoured cars, 22 véhicules de l’Avant Blindé, 41 all-terrain light vehicles (including 16 MILAN anti-tank missile systems), 54 TRM 4000 trucks, 15 TRM 2000 light trucks, 5 fuel trucks, 2 tug trucks, 6 120 mm mortars, 67 towed containers and one beach carpeting system, overall 3300 tonnes.
The hull is built around a well deck which constitutes three-quarters of the length of the ship, and can accommodate up to eight landing craft. The landing craft can be put to sea by filling ballast tanks and lowering the ship, and opening the rear door.
The aeronautical installations allow all-weather operations of transport helicopters, intended to carry commandos. 4 Super-Puma or 2 Super-Frelon helicopters can be accommodated in the hangar.
In 2011 the first in class, Foudre, was sold to the Chilean Navy.