Monday, November 21, 2022

A Portuguese Man of ... Curiosity?

OK, not really sure what to call this ... and I don't think the Portuguese do either.

It is a scientific ship, which will be a kind of base on the high seas, equipped with scientific laboratories, accommodation for 90 people permanently and another 100 if necessary, for example in a situation of emergency evacuation, ramps for boarding and disembarking of vehicles, heliport, runways for aerial drones, a stall for submarine drones and speedboats, various cranes 

In its candidacy for the PRR, the Navy stressed that "this ship, idealized under a new concept of operation, has no military requirements and is not armed. Its main functions are environmental monitoring, in particular in the fight against maritime pollution, the supervision of fisheries, the preservation of resources, the development of knowledge and research in the hydrographic and scientific field".

According to this text, "all its drones do not have weapons and the sensors used serve to monitor, monitor and control maritime spaces under national jurisdiction".

The ship, it was stressed, "will also serve for the eventual transport and evacuation of citizens in case of need. With the concept of double use, and being a technologically innovative and disruptive ship, it will allow you to test technological solutions in the robotic area, contributing to the development of national technology".

The counter-admiral said that this project represents a "stimulus for the entire community linked to the sea, industry and academia", with "very interesting challenges and tremendous opportunities".

And he stressed that it is intended to "involve the national industry as much as possible", reinforcing that "we should not, as a country, waste this opportunity".

In relation to this, criticism emerged from some of those present, already in the question and answer phase.

"The Navy did not know how to promote this project to society, academia and industry," lamented one of the actors, who did not identify himself, presenting himself as someone with business links to the sector.

This seems like a bit of an Offshore Patrol Vessel, a little bit of an Expeditionary Support Base, a funky T-AGOS or ... if squint a bit, butch her up, and will allow myself to say such a thing - a reimagining of the Littoral Combat Ship?

Yes, yes, yes ... I see that she is not armed and there's not a lot of information available. Well, that can be fixed if so needed. I have ideas ... but I like to think you can weaponize anything ... but what I'd like to do is spend a few drinks with a marine architect and the ship's blueprints to see what "white space" there would be to play with in this design. 

Heck, I'll start ... MIW mothership? Pocket destroyer tender? Repair and salvage ship? Forward VLS re-arming ship?

Whatever she is, I have to give a nod to the Portuguese Navy. They have my interest...though...I wonder how that thing rides on a bad North Atlantic winter day...

Once again we have a very small nation - 10.3 million souls, about 3% of the US population and 6% of our defense budget - coming up with some rather innovative ideas.

Also note this timeline;

According to this official, the forecast is that, "by the end of the month" (November), "the proposal will be delivered" and that "by the end of the year the contract will be signed". According to the calendar shown at this meeting, the construction of this platform is expected to take place between 2023 and 2025, delivered at the end of 2025, with 2026 being the "year of guarantees".


h/t DPW.

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