U.K. Agrees to Sale of HMS Ocean to Brazil
LONDON — The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has agreed to sell HMS Ocean to the government of Brazil after 20 years of service, MoD said in a Feb. 19 release.
Sold for around $117.6 million, the profit generated from the sale to the Brazilian Navy will be reinvested in defense at a time when the Royal Navy is being strengthened with two types of new frigates and two aircraft carriers.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will eventually take on the role as the nation’s new flagship, recently set sail from the port of Gibraltar carrying two Chinook and four Merlin helicopters as it readies for helicopter trials at sea.
Since entering service in 1998, HMS Ocean has covered more than 450,000 nautical miles. The long-planned decision to take it out of service this year, as it reaches the end of its planned service life, was confirmed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) 2015.
Ocean’s military record spans from Operation Palliser during the Sierra Leone civil war to Operation Ellamy as part of an international coalition in Libya in 2011.
Most recently, HMS Ocean demonstrated its humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities when it bolstered the hurricane relief effort on Operation Ruman in the Caribbean last summer. It is fitting that one of the ship’s final operations mirrored that of its first, when in early 1999 Ocean was deployed at short notice to render assistance to Honduras and Nicaragua in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.
The sale of HMS Ocean was managed by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), which is part of the MoD’s procurement organization, Defence Equipment and Support. The authority provides an efficient sale and disposal services to the armed forces as well as customers in the United Kingdom and overseas.
“We have a proven track record of supplying surplus defense equipment on a government to government basis,” said Clive Walker, head of DESA. “The successful sale of HMS Ocean to the Brazilian Navy will provide a financial return to the U.K. which will now be reinvested in defense.”
HMS Ocean will be decommissioned from the Royal Navy in March, with plans for the Brazilian Navy to take possession of the ship in June. Modifications to the ship will be made by U.K. companies Babcock and BAE Systems, with the work funded by Brazil.