Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Navy Day of 2010

The 2010 celebrations of the Navy Day brought to the south of the country, more precisely to the city of Portmão, ships from the main classes serving in the Portuguese Navy. Among them were for, example, the newly received frigate D. Francisco de Almeida, one of the two former Dutch Karel Doorman frigates acquired by Portugal, the Vasco da Gama frigate or the Bérrio, the fleet support tanker received in the 1990s after serving in the Royal Navy as Blue Rover.

The Minister of Defence, Augusto Santos Silva, has attended May 23th military ceremony and, during his speech, Mr. Santos Silva underlined the importance of a modern and operational fleet for defending the strategic interests of the country. The modernization plan will cost 2 billion Euros, comprising, for example, the two new frigates of the Bartolomeu Dias class, the Portuguese-built Viana do Castelo offshore patrol vessels, the two Tridente submarines or a Landing Platform Dock ship which - essential for supporting amphibious operations and the deployment of military forces in foreign scenarios. According to Mr. Santos Silva, the delivery of the first Tridente submarine and the first Viana do Castelo vessel is expected for this year.

Another highlight of the event was an impressive demonstration by the ships and navy units visiting Portimão which included an amphibious landing demonstration by the marines. Some of the three deployed Super Lynx Mk 95 helicopters were armed with the recently-received 12,7mm FN Herstal M3M machine guns.

A photographic report was made for the Portuguese magazine Revista de Marinha, which can be partially seen here.

Pedro Monteiro