The Brazilian Navy has reportedly sent a proposal to pay for helicopter carrier HMS Ocean in instalments.

According to Brazilian journalist Roberto Lopes in an e-mail to us, the ship’s cost to the Brazilian Navy is fixed at £80.3 million pounds (312 million of Brazilian Reais).

Commander of the Brazilian Navy, Admiral Eduardo Leal Ferreira, claimed that the price of Ocean seemed “convenient”.

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.

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At the prices we’ve been paying that gets us more than half way towards buying a 6th River-class Batch 2 OPV :-(.

If I’m honest though it is more than I feared we might have accepted and I assume it’s a lot more than we would get from selling her for scrap.

David Stone

Been watching the Channel 4 documentary, Warship, and even after one episode it’s obvious that the ship is old in Naval terms. Parts for the two engines are difficult to find and get hold of, and the ship’s engineers have to work hard to keep it going. Replacement engines would be a major expense were we to keep it in reserve, or for the new owners if it’s sold. The biggest error is not that it may be decommisioned or sold, but that there isn’t a planned replacement. As good as the QE carriers are, they aren’t really meant for… Read more »


The fact is no matter what material state the ship is in, her crew need to be transferred to HMS Queen Elizabeth next year. The RN is desperately short of personnel and is even now sacrificing marine postings to try to get the numbers up.

The price does seem a bit barging basement but better 80 million that can be put to good use (Harpoon modernisation/replacement) than have her rusting in Plymouth.


The crew from Ocean isn’t needed for HMS Queen Elizabeth, which more or less fully crewed already,but for the Prince of Wales which is being adapted for amphibious ops.


I also believe that’s the case. £3b Ship for amphib ops is absolutely nuts.


33,000 personnel strong….. yet deploying a handful of vessels.

If the manpower is show short, then what is everyone doing?


33,000 personnel! not sure where you got your numbers from Joe? RN/RM total 29450 which still 3% undermanned as of Dec 16. Even with less ships deployed these days, we still have commitments that would not be classed as your typical deployments which is stretching our personnel and ships. Which often not reported on. Parliamentary approval has been given to grow the RN by 500! Wow not a great deal but enough to crew the PoW. But as report this week a lot RM roles will be moved across to the RN so we not actually gaining 500 people just… Read more »

Papa Golf

Seems cheap but as others have said it’s better than selling her for scrap. It also has the benefit of strengthening our export relationship with Brazil. Having sold the Amazonas, the licence to build further and hopefully Ocean to Brazil, this can only be a good thing for the UK Naval systems suppliers here in the UK.

Peter Bezemer

it’s cheaper that a brand new eurofighter typhoon plane 🙂

Papa Golf

Will also be interesting to see what the sale includes. Does it include the Artisan radar? If so, it could lead to further exports or Artisan to future Brazilian ships. Especially seeing it is tried and tested with Sea Cepter which they are purchasing for their corvettes…


To be perfectly honest, if the QE class end up as a UK version of the America Class LPD’s I will be happy. It’s a pity we are not going full out on the carriers (48 F35’s) so there is room for them to have amphibious facilities. For me 8 Karel Doorman Solid Stores/Joint support ships with ship to shore hovercraft, plus the 6 Merlins/2 chinooks they are designed for would be ideal and a far cheaper replacement for our current SS ships (3), Albions (2) and Bay (3) classes as well as Argus(1) Ocean (1). If done right this… Read more »


I agree that they should tweak take all the older vessels listed and work on a more common but flexible platform. The RFA was designed around the style of warfare that just won’t happen again, post empire.

We have ships like the albions, that are of little use in peace times, if they had a hanger or space for a hospital, they could be far more useful for humanitation / anti-piracy roles.


Pacman27 – I agree. That collection of ship classes that you listed for replacement by a good flexible Karel Doorman type of design for the new MARS SSS is spot-on. Aegir would seem a sensible starting point and I note that our super-sized Aegir used for the Tides is about 30% higher in displacement than the Karel Doorman supply ship albeit a few metres shorter and less beam. It could form the basis of a ship with an awful lot of carrying capacity and internal space. If the Aegir design is as flexible as it seems to be though I… Read more »


The two carriers will probably lay alongside until a good overseas offer comes in for them and then goodbye………………


What a stupid attitude. I’m so pissed off with armchair warriors like you def’ing the forces. Grow up and get a pair.



Or in other terms…. enough for BAE to build 1/3rd of a small OPV.


Or c2 days overseas aid ?

Mr Bell

Sad state of affairs. Losing HMS Ocean opens up another capability gap (decommissioned without replacement). Using a £3billion strike carrier for lphd role is tactically insane. what the RN needs is hulls, ships in the water, if loosing hms ocean means we can actually man hms POW then that is fine, but what about other warship orders? Only 8 type 26 frigates is not enough, only 7 astute class is not enough, only 5-8 of the proposed type 31 is not enough. if we cannot afford a specifically designed lphd replacement for hms ocean or enough frigates, submarines or personnel… Read more »


You want to pay more tax? Tell HMRC and I’m sure they will be glad to take more from you.

If not, shut the the hell up.

Mr Bell

Good point about using the money earned from the sale of HMS Ocean to purchase in anti ship missiles. £80 million would buy 70+ Norwegian antiship missiles. It is a start, enough to kit out the type 45s and some of the type 23s with 10-12 missiles per ship.


I would love to see the 80m ploughed back into the RN in the form of new ASMs as you mentioned above but it will never happen. That money will ‘disappear’ and I fear this government has become used to – and comfortable with – capability gaps. Given what is going on now with the Russians, if it ever did come to an all out shooting war (which I don’t believe will happen but I also never expected 59 Tomahawks to be fired at Syria) then we are severely screwed. I hope HMG and Fallon in particular are taking stock… Read more »


Looking at my calendar it is April 12th…… what happened to the National Ship Building Strategy?

Ahhhh… I remember now, it’s safely tucked away in Fallon’s desk drawer…… thanks Michael!


It had big words and was longish. I blame Parker for not using more cartoons.

He hinted other day about the rUK build, Clyde fitting and “at least” again.


The navy has a bit of a problem, which is there has been no war in a long time (falklands?) since we really needed one. All the recent wars have been more about lopping missiles from the sky or counter insurgency operations, requiring highly mobile but ultimately lightly armed ground forces. This means that there is no political will to invest, simple because where is the PR news stories that make the politicians look great. The carriers will be great for the current world, park it near a country you want to bomb and run some operations with nice news… Read more »


Absolutely. Also, a year or so ago the answer to a freedom-of-information request about per-ship RN running costs for the previous year was posted on the ThinkDefence web site. The thing that struck me was how expensive the Albion class was to run, each ship more than Ocean I seem to remember. The figures were mostly proportional to crew complement but Albion & Bulwark were anomalies. Maybe it’s the cost of rotating one into standby all the time, maybe they have lots of failures, maybe it’s just the case that the active one is constantly tasked, but whatever it was… Read more »


If we move this standardisation argument on a bit, as you all know I would also like to see the retirement of the OPV and mine hunter fleets in favour of more escorts, once again this is about removing specialist assets (even great ones) and providing a more resilient platform with in the case of the mine hunters the mine countermeasures system. This again gives us flexibility of perhaps running these from a spartan or venator class T31 with the T26 eventually taking over from the T45. For me we can have a navy with 8 or so core hull… Read more »

Mr Bell

Paceman. I would be happy with a navy that can just meet its current commitments and therefore by default offer an adequate defence of the UK. something like 2 QE carriers, 2 new lphds, 3 bay class, 6 type 45s, 8 ASW type 26s, 10-12 type 31s, 4-6 type 26 batch 2 optimised for surface strike and ASW, 7 astute, 3 retained trafalgars for special forces/ lower threat area patrols whilst building a further batch of 3-4 more astutes. The smaller war fighting vessels should be replaced by a modular hull form that can be tasked by dropping equipment modules… Read more »


Mr Bell I agree with your sentiment, not your equipment list. The RN has to accept that it cannot have both T45 and T26 as high end escorts and I think the decision to have 14 high end escorts is about right and fully expect 13/14 T26 to be built eventually and replace the T45’s. T31 is where the big decision is as for me 25 of these kitted out with Compact Captas, Atlas Arcims, 1 or 2 CB90s, a SEARAM or 2, A Wildcat and 16 strike length VLS is a game changer. Especially at a target price of… Read more »


unfortunately we will lose any war with a near peer as to win a naval battle you need offensive systems – something all our ships are lacking.

No harpoon
No torpedoes
No strike capabilities

It’s not a capability gap but sitting ducks we are sending out. Even the carriers have no real defensive capability and at a minimum should have 4 SeaRAM systems fitted.


Bollocks, what bloody war are you expecting to fight????


It is truly a wasted opportunity that the QE class carriers were not outfitted with catapults and arresting gear that the American carriers have, and like the old Ark a Royal did. It would have made for an entire realm of inter oprability with US and French navy aircraft possible. As is, we are stuck with a a hideously pricey version of the Hermes or Invincible. Also, why are we going to be using these ships as amphibious assault ships? Were you to suggest to the US Admirals that they use one of thier Nimitz class carriers for such a… Read more »


Oh piss off dickhead.


We should use the £80 million to build or buy a replacement vessel for HMS Ocean or at least new anti-ship missiles maybe even a French mistral class helicopter Carrier

Chris Green

The USA will lend/lease the recently retired full deck carrier USS JFK for free, and the U.K. Can then use the savings to purchase F18 super Hornets which will be cheaper to fly and maintain than F35. The second QE carrier can be sold to India for a big fat profit!

[…] Guvernul brazilian a inaintat deja o oferta de cumparare ferma catre Londra, punand pe masa un pic peste 80 de milioane de lire sterline. Stirea a fost confirmata si de comandantul marinei braziliene, amiralul Eduardo Leal Ferreira care a catalogat pretul oferit ca fiind unul conevenabil. […]

Lars Cocklehurst

As ever spending a fortune and wasting vast chunks of it. We need to increase fleet with hulls fit for purpose and numbers fully kitted to deliver whars needed.

Wasting fortune on boats past sell by date and poor choices such as crap engines on D boats.


Sell to Singapore lah

[…] reported recently that the Brazilian Navy has sent a proposal to pay for helicopter carrier HMS Ocean in […]

[…] understand from Roberto Lopes via e-mail, the source who let us know that Brazil has already submitted a payment plan for the vessel, that the officers involved in the ship acquisition process are optimistic and are […]

[…] understand from Roberto Lopes via e-mail, the source who let us know that Brazil has already submitted a payment plan for the vessel, that the officers involved in the ship acquisition process are optimistic and are […]

[…] Then in April, we reported that the Brazilian Navy had reportedly sent a proposal to pay for helicopter carrier HMS Ocean in instalments. […]