As PoADU released last week, the Portuguese Navy has selected the Oto Melara SpA made MARLIN WS naval weapon station for its two first NPO vessels. According declarations from Oto Melara SpA to PoADU, the MARLIN WS is the lightweight version (without cupola but with shield) of a family of systems sold in the following countries:

Marlin da otomerlava

5 FPBs to Italian Police Guard – Contract 2002

6 MCMVs to Turkish Navy – Contract 2000

14 FACs to Hellenic Navy – Contract 2000, 2003 and 2008

3 OPVs to Hellenic Coast Guard – Contract 2003

2 FACs to Hellenic Navy – Contract 2004

6 OPVs to Malaysian Navy – Contracts 2002 and 2006

6 OPVs to U.A.E. Navy – Contract 2004-2006

2 OPVs to Mexican Navy – Contract 2004

4 FPBs to Iraqi Navy – Contract 2007

4 OPVs to Dutch Navy – Contract 2007

OPV: Ocean Patrol vessel.

FPB : Fast Patrol Boat.

FAC: Fast Attack Craft.

MCMV: Mine Counter Measure Vessel.

Peça do NPO Viana do Castelo

The first NPO vessel P360 NRP Viana do Castelo to be delivered in January of next year is at the moment fitted with a 40mm gun.

With a gross vehicle weight of about 12.7 Tonnes, the air transportable (Boeing C17A Globemaster III, Lochkeed Martin C130J Hercules and EADS Airbus Military A400M) Nexter Systems ARAVIS is based on a Daimler AG Unimog U5000 chassis and powered by a Mercedes Benz OM-924 diesel engine developing 218 hp coupled to a fully automatic transmission. The vehicle has a maximum road speed of about 100 km/h and an operating range of 750 km.

The ARAVIS armoured vehicle is considered the most well protected 4×4 vehicle of its category thanks to the SafePro citadel with spall liner and a modular appliqué armor suite, which provides ballistic protection exceeding STANAG 4569 level 4 giving a fully protected space for up to six fully equipped troops.

The French MoD procurement agency DGA (Délégation Générale pour l´Armement) has already ordered 15 vehicles for the French Army service.

The company is looking to promote the ARAVIS in Portugal in the coming months. The company is also planning to market its CAESAR 155mm self propelled artillery system already ordered by France, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.

French DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales Services, http://www.dcnsgroup.com) with its MISTRAL 140 multi-purpose vessel will be one of the contenders for the Portuguese Navy NPL (Navio Polivalente Logístico) construction programme. The company already delivered two 21.300 Tonnes vessels to the French Navy, L9013 Mistral and L9014 Tonnere. A third vessel is under construction by French shipbuilder STX Europe AS (http://www.stxeurope.com). Russia is looking seriously to procure a single vessel and to manufacture locally 4 or 5 units.
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(DCNS).

The MISTRAL 140 is 160 Meters long and have a full displacement of 13.460 Tonnes, a top speed of 19.2 kt, a range of 10.000nm at a speed of 12 kt, five helicopter spots, a deck for six helicopters, a 1200 Meters² hangar for wheeled and tracked vehicles, 400 Meters² space for a command post and 680 Meters² for a Level 3 hospital. 4 LCM´s boats can operate from the vessel. The vessel is manned by a crew of 160 and can transport 130 Tonnes of ammunitions and 500 fully equipped troops. Defensive systems include two MBDA SIMBAD air defence units and 30mm and 12.7mm heavy guns.

The company is also looking to sell the MISTRAL 140 to Turkey and South Africa.

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SHERPA 2 (Renault Trucks Défense).

French Renault Trucks Défense is adopting a new designation for its SHERPA 3 4×4 light armoured vehicle. The vehicle is now called SHERPA Carrier. The company is one of the possible contenders for the Portuguese Armed Forces VTLB programme. The company already trialed a SHERPA 2 and a SHERPA 3FS in Portugal last May. The company has been awarded a contract by Globecomm Systems Inc for 17 SHERPA Carrier´s. The fleet will feature communication systems for to be used by US Army signal units deployed in Afghanistan.

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SHERPA 3FS (Renault Trucks Défense).

If the Portuguese Ministry of Defence choose to increase the VTLB programme weight specification so to move to an heavy MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) style 4×4 vehicle or include both weights, the list of possible contenders will include not only light armoured vehicles like the AVL/PVP, SHERPA, M65E12 LMV, COBRA, VAMTAC, EAGLE, RG32M, HMMWV and so on but also the BUSHMASTER IMV, ARAVIS, DINGO or even the KAYA. An heavy MRAP style is obviously more suitable for military operations like in Afghanistan or Iraq because the protection, mobility and cargo payload will be increased but the price per unit and costs associated with maintenance, training and operation will increase also.

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Note that both Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG DINGO, Otokar Otobüs Karoseri Sanayi AS KAYA and Nexter Systems ARAVIS vehicles are based on Daimler AG Unimog U5000 trucks.

The Portuguese Army is acquiring an undisclosed quantity of Land Rover Defender 4×4 light tactical vehicles configured for sanitary evacuation missions. The contract has been awarded to Jaguar Land Rover Portugal SA.

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The NATO Joint Command Lisbon (JCL) now headed by French Army Général Philippe Stoltz has released its report about counter piracy activities.

In October 2008, at the request of the United Nations (UN), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) deployed its Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) naval force to the Somali maritime coast in order to conduct the Allied Provider operation and to escort World Food Program (WFP) vessels protecting them against the piracy threat allowing WFP to fulfill its mission of providing humanitarian aid to Somalia´s civilian population.

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                                                  (JCL).

From March to August 2009, the activities of the alliance against piracy in the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Aden were conducted by SNMG1 (Standing NATO Maritime Group 1) force, with the Allied Protector operation. The results of the operation were extremely encouraging and led to an expanded role for NATO’s counter piracy efforts that continue today with the successor to Allied Protector, Ocean Shield operation.

The aim of Operation Allied Protector was to deter and disrupt pirate activity and enhance the safety of commercial maritime routes and international navigation through the Gulf of Aden, complementing the work of other international forces operating in the area. During the Operation there were 12 hijacks, 37 attacks and 21 suspicious approaches in the Gulf of Aden. 16 of the 37 attacks were thwarted and more than 150 suspected pirate personnel were questioned along with numerous weapons and pirate paraphernalia being confiscated