BAE Systems has signed a five-year contract to support its ARTISAN Radar on the Brazilian Navy’s flagship, the multipurpose aircraft carrier NAM Atlantico. The new contract will provide through-life support for both the BAE Systems ARTISAN Radar and associated DNA2 Combat Management System (CMS) fitted to the NAM Atlantico, delivering class-leading operational availability to the flagship. The ARTISAN Radar aspect of the contract will deliver corrective and preventative maintenance including the provision of spare parts, which will be manufactured by BAE Systems in the UK and held in Brazil. It will also provide a help-desk facility, which will be operated remotely from the UK to assist the team in Brazil.
A skills and knowledge transfer agreement will see the BAE Systems radar team provide hands-on training to the Brazilian Navy as part of regular, planned engineering visits to the Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ) in Guanabara Bay, near Rio de Janeiro. ARTISAN naval surveillance radar will provide NAM Atlântico surface & air surveillance and air traffic management of both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Brazil became an operator of the radar with the purchase of LPH HMS Ocean from the United Kingdom in 2018. The DNA2 element of the contract will also deliver a planned modernisation package of the ship’s CMS in order to address obsolescence.
Laurie Ellis, Head of Radar, Maritime sector at BAE Systems said: “We’re delighted to have signed this support service contract with the Brazilian Navy. Our teams of engineers are looking forward to working with and providing support for the ARTISAN Radar and DNA2 Combat Management System to enable NAM Atlântico to continue its vital role as flagship. We provide in-service support for ARTISAN radar which is currently in service with the Royal Navy on board the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and Type 23 frigates and selected for the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship.”
Admiral Cunha, Marinha do Brasil said: “The signing of this contract represents a relevant step towards ensuring full availability of the combat system and ARTISAN radar on board NAM Atlantico. It is an important commitment assumed by BAE Systems with the Brazilian Navy not only in the maintenance of the operational capability of our flagship, but also in the transfer of knowledge to our personnel.”
NAM Atlantico (A140) is a landing ship and current flagship of the Brazilian Navy. Originally constructed in the United Kingdom for service with the Royal Navy as landing platform helicopter, she was commissioned on 30 September 1998 as HMS Ocean, serving until being decommissioned on 27 March 2018, and then commissioned into service with Brazil the following June. In December 2017, the Brazilian Navy confirmed the purchase of the ship for £84.6 million, equivalent to R$359.5M and USD $113.2M. The Brazilian Navy commissioned the multi-purpose helicopter carrier Atlantico (A140) on 29 June in the United Kingdom.
The helicopter carrier package for Brazil includes an Artisan 3D search radar, KH1007 surface surveillance radar system, four 30 mm DS30M Mk 2 remote weapon systems and four Mk 5B landing craft. However, the three original 20 mm Mk 15 Block 1B Phalanx close-in weapon systems, the torpedo defence systems and 7.62 mm M134 machine guns were removed from the ship before its transfer to Brazil. The ship displaces 21,578 tonnes, is 203.43 m long and has a range of 8,000 n miles. The ship underwent maintenance work by Babcock and BAE Systems in February 2020. On 12 November 2020, Atlântico was redesignated “NAM”, for “multipurpose aircraft carrier” from “PHM”, for “multipurpose helicopter carrier”, to reflect its capability to operate with fixed-wing medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles as well as crewed tiltrotor VTOL aircraft.