December 25, 2015: Strategy Page
Brazil is buying a French Foudre class LPD amphibious ship for $85 million. The 12,000 ton Siroco has been in service for 17 years and could, with some refurbishment, serve another two decades or more. The Siroco will be renamed Bahia. The 168 meter (521 feet) long ship has a crew of 160 and carries up to 70 vehicles. The well deck contains eight landing craft and there is a hangar that carries up to four helicopters. There are accommodations for 450 troops (or double that for short voyages). The Siroco can also be used as a command ship. Siroco was decommissioned in July 2015 and is thus ready for service. Brazilian sailors are already being trained on how to operate the Siroco, using French training manuals that have been translated into Portuguese. .
Two of these Foudre class ships were built in the 1990s and the first one was sold to Chile in 2011. France has since introduced a new class of amphibious ships, the Mistrals, to replace the two Foudre class ships. Three Mistrals are in service and two more were sold to Egypt.