The Brazilian Army has taken a significant step in enhancing its riverine combat capabilities with the recent order of four LOpRib (Lancha de Operações Ribeirinhas) multimission fast armoured attack crafts. The contract was awarded to the state-owned shipyard, Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ), as part of the Armoured Crafts Obtention Project (POEB) under the Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP). The LOpRib boats, based on the Excalibur craft type developed by the Ladário Fluvial Base, are designed to provide increased mobility and firepower to combat groups deployed in remote regions of Brazil. This contract more than doubles the number of LOpRib boats in operation within the Brazilian Armed Forces.
This collaboration between the Brazilian Army and the Navy for the construction of the LOpRib demonstrates a commitment to greater interoperability between the armed forces. The signing of this partnership was attended by high-ranking officials, including the Head of the Department of Science and Technology, the General Director of Navy Material, the Deputy Head of the Engineering and Construction Department, the Industrial Director of the Navy, the Director of Engineering Material, and the Manufacturing Director. This initiative is a vital component of the Brazilian Army’s Armored Vessel Procurement Project, marking a significant step forward in Brazil’s ongoing efforts to bolster its military capabilities for riverine operations.
Featuring a gliding hull made of naval aluminum alloy, these vessels measure 8.83 meters in length, 2.74 meters in width, and have a displacement of 5.6 kg. They boast a maximum range of 800 kilometers at a cruising speed of 12 knots and a top speed of 30 knots. Powering the LOpRib boats are two diesel inboard engines, manufactured by Mercury Marine or Volvo Penta. These versatile crafts come equipped with state-of-the-art features, including communications equipment, navigation systems, an electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), electronic support measures (ESM) system, identification friend-or-foe (IFF) interrogator, searchlight, and public address system. Additionally, they are outfitted with weapon mounts capable of supporting 12.7×99 mm and 7.62×51 mm machine guns.
The LOpRib’s deployment is expected to significantly enhance the combat power of military organizations conducting riverine operations, particularly in the South, West, North, and Amazon regions of Brazil. These crafts are capable of transporting fully armed and equipped Infantry Combat Groups and provide armored protection and firepower ideally suited for riverine warfare scenarios. Notably, the São Félix do Araguaia Riverfront Operations Boat will play a pivotal role in patrolling riverways, aiding in the defense of border regions, and combating environmental crimes. The decision to manufacture these vessels within Brazil by the Brazilian Navy not only strengthens the interoperability between the country’s armed forces but also contributes to national technological development and job creation, a move hailed as a significant step toward bolstering the nation’s defense capabilities.