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Niteroi-class frigate
BNS Constituição (F42)
Class overview
Name: Niterói class, Mk10
Builders: Vosper Thornycroft, Navy Arsenal in Rio de Janeiro
Operators: Brazilian Navy
Built: 1975–1986
Completed: 7
Active: 7
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 3,355 tons standard
3,707 tons full load
Length: 129.2 m (424 ft)
Beam: 13.5 m (44 ft)
Draught: 5.5 m (18 ft)
Installed power: Two Rolls-Royce Olympus gas turbines (56,000 hp (42,000 kW) combined)
Four MTU diesel engines (18,000 hp (13,000 kW) combineD)
Propulsion: Combined diesel or gas, two shafts
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) (maximum)
22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) (diesels only)
Range: 5,300 nautical miles (9,800 km; 6,100 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
4,200 nautical miles (7,800 km; 4,800 mi) at 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
1,300 nautical miles (2,400 km; 1,500 mi) at 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Endurance: 45 days
Complement: 217
Sensors and
processing systems:
Before modernization:
  • AWS2 air search radar
  • ZW-06 surface search radar
  • 2 × RTN-10X fire control radar (not in F42/43)
  • EDO-610E hull-mounted sonar
  • EDO-700E variable-depth sonar (not in F42/43)
  • Computer-Aided Action Information System (CAAIS)
After modernization:
  • RAN-20S air search radar
  • Terma 'Scanter Mil' surface search radar
  • 2 × RTN-30X fire control radar
  • Saab EOS-400 optronic director
  • upgraded EDO-610E hull mounted sonar
  • SICONTA Mk 2 C3I system
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Before modernization:
  • RDL-2/3 ESM
  • Two 12×102 mm rocket launchers
After modernization:
  • Cutlass B1W ESM
  • ET/SQL-1 ECM
  • Two 12×102 mm rocket launchers
Armament: After modernization:
Aircraft carried: Westland Super Lynx Mk.21A (locally designated as AH-11A); or
Eurocopter AS-350/355 Squirrel (locally assembled by Helibrás as UH-12/UH-13 'Esquilo')
Aviation facilities: Helipad and hangar

The Niterói class frigates are a class of warships of the Brazilian Navy.


The Niterói Class Frigates were designed and built by the British shipyard Vosper Thornycroft in the 1980s. These ships were designated Mk 10 by Vosper Thornycroft and are the largest of a series of ships built by that shipyard for both foreign buyers and the Royal Navy.

All of them were extensively modernized between 1996 and 2005 under the 'ModFrag' program. The projected completion was 2001. But due to lack of funds and sea trials to verify the new software, the entire program had been slipped to 2005.

A total of six ships were built, four of an anti submarine version built in England. These ships had an Ikara missile launcher in Y position aft of the flight deck. This was removed as part of the modernisation programme. The remaining two general purpose ships were built at the Arsenal da Marinha no Rio de Janeiro with assistance from VT. These ships had a second 4.5 inch gun in Y position. A seventh ship was built as the navy's main training unit. The ship is identical to the other ships of the class, but is not fitted with weapons or sensors.


Pennant number Name Builder[1] Laid Down[1] Launched[1] Commissioned[1] Type Current status
F40 Niterói Vosper Thornycroft 8 June 1972 8 February 1974 20 November 1976 ASW In service
F41 Defensora Vosper Thornycroft 14 December 1972 27 March 1975 3 March 1977 ASW In service
F42 Constituição Vosper Thornycroft 13 March 1974 15 April 1976 31 March 1978 ASW In service
F43 Liberal Vosper Thornycroft 2 May 1975 7 February 1977 18 November 1978 ASW In service
F44 Independência Arsenal de Marinha, Rio de Janeiro 11 June 1972 2 September 1974 3 September 1979 GP In service
F45 União Arsenal de Marinha, Rio de Janeiro 11 June 1972 14 March 1975 12 September 1980 GP In service
U27 Brasil Arsenal de Marinha, Rio de Janeiro[2] 18 September 1981[2] 2 September 1983[2] 21 August 1986[2] Training In service


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Saunders 2002, p. 61.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Saunders 2002, p. 70.
  • Marinha do Brasil (Brazilian Navy)
  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995
  • Cicalesi, J.C. e Del Gaizo, Cesar: La Marina brasiliana oggi, RiD magazine, Chiavari, June 2006, pag. 50–55
  • Saunders, Stephen. Jane's Fighting Ships 2002–2003. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group, 2002. ISBN 0710624328.

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