The Brazilian Navy used a semantic interpretation to return to having an aircraft carrier in its fleet, after the decommissioning of Sao Paulo (ex-Foch) years ago. The naval force decided to reclassify the helicopter carrier “Atlantico” as an aircraft carrier.
The vessel, purchased from the Royal Navy (where it operated as the HMS Ocean) as NAM Atlantico (Multi-Purpose Aircraft Carrier). To justify the decision, the Brazilian Navy explained that “such change in the type of ship is due to the fact that the vessel has the ability to operate in its deck with remotely piloted aircraft as well as with turboprop aircraft for vertical landing.”
The information apparently refers to the V-22 Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft from Bell and Boeing that is operated by the USA and Japan. However, there is no plan in Brazil to have this type of aircraft.
The Atlantico was acquired in 2018 for a value of £84 million from the United Kingdom, where it has operated since 1995. With 203 meters in length and 21,600 tons of displacement, the vessel was used as a platform for helicopters on amphibious assault missions. Despite the new name, the ship has no characteristics to be considered an aircraft carrier, such as catapult or ski-jump takeoff systems.
The Brazilian Navy, however, has among its goals of the strategic plan for the year 2040 to count on a new aircraft carrier in addition to modern fighters. Currently, the small detachment of A-4 (A-1F) jets is based on land after Sao Paulo’s retirement.