According to local media in Brazil, the Ministry of Defence have offered HMS Ocean for sale to the South American country.
The article, found here, claims that Brazilian officials believe that the price seemed “reasonable” and the Brazilian Navy are examining the prospect “with cautious optimism”.
HMS Ocean is the UK’s only helicopter carrier and the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force.
According to someone we spoke to currently on-board the vessel, there are rumours that this is one of a number of possibilities:
“People have been talking about what will happen to the ship after 2018, there were rumours that the vessel might be sold to another navy but there’s been no mention of what navy that might be.”
The helicopter carrier was constructed in the mid-1990s and commissioned in September 1998.
In November 2015, the MoD confirmed that HMS Ocean is to be decommissioned in 2018 with no like-for-like replacement.
This comes as the Brazilian Navy have decided to abandon the refit of the aircraft carrier Sao Paulo and decommission the vessel after a series of technical issues and accidents.
Rectification costs are understood to be a major factor in this decision.
The Sao Paulo is a Clemenceau class aircraft carrier commissioned in 1963 by the French Navy as Foch and was transferred in 2000 to Brazil, where she became the new flagship of the Brazilian Navy. The earlier intention of the navy was that the vessel would continue in active service until 2039, at which time the vessel would be nearly 80 years old.
IHS Janes reported that during its career with the Brazilian Navy, São Paulo has suffered from ‘serviceability issues and has never managed to operate for more than three months at a time without the need for repairs and maintenance’.
It is no surprise therefore that the navy have now announced, as reported by DefesaNet, that the ship will be ‘demobilised and subsequently decommissioned’.
We have contacted the Ministry of Defence and await comment.