The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on 19 February that it has sold the mothballed Royal Navy landing platform helicopter (LPH) HMS Ocean to Brazil for $117 million US.
Babcock and BAE Systems will modify the HMS Ocean ahead of its delivery to Brazil in June.
The HMS Ocean was commissioned in 1998. Since then, the Royal Navy had accumulated 450,000 nautical miles using the helicopter carrier. Under its Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) for 2015, the UK decided to de-commission the HMS Ocean.
The HMS Ocean’s naval aviation duties will be assumed by the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will also serve as the Royal Navy’s new flagship. The HMS Queen Elizabeth was designed to maintain both rotary-wing and fixed-wing (F-35B) complements.
The HMS Ocean sale is being managed by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority under the UK MoD.
With a displacement of 22,00 tons, the HMS Ocean can carry up to 18 helicopters of varying capabilities and size, spanning from the six-ton AW159 to the 22-ton CH-47D Chinook. Designed to support amphibious operations, the LPH can also carry 40 vehicles along with a marines force of 830 troops.
The Brazilian Navy intends to deploy the HMS Ocean as an air and amphibious operations asset for a wide range of roles, including: maritime area control and sea-lane protection, humanitarian and disaster relief, logistics support and peacekeeping operations.
Besides Brazil, Turkey was among the countries reportedly interested in the HMS Ocean, ostensibly as an interim training solution ahead of its first new-built landing helicopter deck (LHD), the TCG Anadolu.