The Brazilian Navy Niterói-class frigate Independência (F44) with its crew of 199 arrived in Beirut, Lebanon on 11 April to join the Maritime Task Force of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (FTM-UNIFIL). The ship left the Port of Natal on 16 March where the Naval Base of Rio de Janeiro (BNRJ) is located, on 8 March to replace the corvette CV Barroso (V34) in the flagship role of UNIFIL-MTF. Brazil has been involved with the mission since 2011 and Independencia is the sixth vessel deployed. It is manned by a crew of 200 and will operate in the Middle East until December 2020. The ship will carry out maritime and littoral security missions and train members of the Lebanese Navy.
The Independência (F44) is a Niteroi class frigate of the Brazilian Navy. Each vessel has a displacement of 3.8t and dimensions of 129.2m length, 13.5m width and 6.5m draft. The Constituição was the second Niterói class frigate ordered by the Brazilian Navy, on 20 September 1970. The Niterói class were designed and built by the British shipyard Vosper Thornycroft (VT) in the 1970s. These frigates were designated the Mk 10 by Vosper Thornycroft and are the largest of a series of ships built by that shipyard for both foreign buyers and the Royal Navy. All of them were extensively modernized between 1996 and 2005 under the ‘ModFrag’ program.The Niteroi-class frigates were constructed in the 1970s.