In a ceremony presided by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral of Squadron Ilques Barbosa Junior, three Oceanic Support Ships (NApOc): the “Mearim”, the “Iguatemi” and the “Purus”, which were baptized and participated of Show of Armament and Transfer to the Operative Sector, on July 9, at the Navy Arsenal of Rio de Janeiro. The event represented the incorporation of the ship to the Navy of Brazil (MB) and, according to the naval tradition, the baptism by a godmother brings luck to the vessel. The process of acquiring the “Mearim” class Oceanic Support Ships began at the end of 2016, through meetings between the Naval Operations Command (ComOpNav), the Program Management Board (DGePM) and the Management Company for Marine Projects (EMGEPRON).
Initially, the intention was to rent three tugboats for the Navy. After a thorough market investigation conducted by EMGEPRON to verify which Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) ships would be available, there were 147 vessels, but none of them met the requirements presented by the Operating Sector. In a new study, the requirements were changed in order to allow the process to continue. An international electronic trading session was held for the acquisition of three ships under the responsibility of EMGEPRON. The winner of the event was the Norwegian company Deep Sea Shipowing, with the AHTS “Sea Stoat”, “Sea Vixen” and “Sea Fox”.
It should be noted that the acquisition of the Ocean Support Ships (NApOc) “Mearim”, “Iguatemi” and “Purus” was the result of an unprecedented purchase process for the Brazilian Navy by EMGEPRON. The NApOc “Mearim”, “Iguatemi” and “Purus” are able to perform the following tasks: mobile logistical support, patrol and naval inspection, Search and Rescue (SAR) and mining, in the areas of 5th Naval District (NApOc “Mearim”), 4th Naval District Command (NApOc “Iguatemi”) and 1st Naval District Command (NapOc “Purus”).
Ships have the following characteristics:
Total Length: 63.40 m;
Length Between Perpendiculars: 56.53 m;
Molded Bead: 15.80 m;
Pontal: 6.80 m;
Displacement Loaded: 1,943 t;
Navigation Draft: 5.5 m;
Maximum Speed: 13.5 knots.
02 machine guns 12.7 mm (0.50 in);
02 machine guns 7.62 mm;
Towing Machine with Bollard Pull of approximately 90 t.
The Oceanic Support Ship (NApOc) “Mearim” – G 150 is the first ship of the class and the sixth to bear this name in the Brazilian Navy, in honor of the Mearim River that bathes the state of Maranhão. The Iguatemi – G 151 is the second ship of the class and the fourth to bear this name in the Brazilian Navy, in homage to the Iguatemi River that bathes the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The Ship of Support Oceanic (NApOc) “Iguatemi” – G 151 Oceanic Support (NApOc) “Purus” – G 152 is the third ship of the class and the third to bear this name in the Brazilian Navy, in honor of the Purus River that bathes the states of Acre and Amazonas. The choice of the visual side marker (G 150, G 151, G 152), is a tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of the various actions that took place in the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870).