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Helicopter Carrier Atlântico Receives Festive Welcome in Brazil

first_imgBy Nelza Oliveira/Diálogo September 19, 2018 Brazil welcomed the Multipurpose Helicopter Carrier (PHM, in Portuguese) Atlântico, the largest warship in Latin America, with a naval parade and a 21-gun salute in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese) purchased the ship from the British government. The transfer of the PHM Atlântico to the Brazilian crew included experience and technical know how about the ship, as well as courses from the United Kingdom Royal Navy and manufacturers of the onboard equipment. The Brazilian crew also took part in operational exercises conducted by the Flag Officer Sea Training, which ensures vessel operability, at the Royal Navy Training Center. “We had the opportunity to do a hot handover, which is the transfer of knowledge and experience by the British crew, acquired in the last 20 years of operating the ship, to the Brazilian crew. In the process, we steered the ship and reviewed different equipment to ensure the Brazilian Navy would receive a fully operational ship,” said MB Captain Giovani Corrêa, commander of PHM Atlântico. Chance purchase The British-built, formerly named HMS Ocean, is 203 meters long and weighs 21,578 tons. The ship can simultaneously operate seven aircraft on the flight deck, and transport up to 12 in its hangar. Up to 800 service members, who can deploy with helicopters or four landing crafts, can travel aboard. Brazil purchased PHM Atlântico for $109 million. The British government had already invested $92 million to refurbish the ship between 2013 and 2014. “It was a chance purchase. The Royal Navy was parting with it because they had built two aircraft carriers and needed the personnel who operated this ship to join the crew of the new vessels. It once was the British squadron’s fleet flagship; it’s in great condition and proved to be an excellent acquisition for the Navy,” Capt. Giovani said. Family and friends waited for the return of the 303 service members who spent up to six months in England, learning to operate the ship. Brazil welcomed them with pride on August 25th. “The most difficult part was the time away from family. Although the vessel is large and comfortable, we spent many days unable to contact family because of the limitations and difficulties with signal, communication and security,” said MB Lieutenant Commander Márcia Freitas, head of the health department and the only female aboard PHM Atlântico. Training and missions The ship can fulfill many missions, including maritime area control, in support of the Navy in war and strategic logistics operations, as well as to transport service members, munitions, supplies, drinking water, and equipment. With medical facilities on board, the ship is also ideal for humanitarian missions, natural disaster relief, personnel evacuations, and peacekeeping operations. “It’s a deterring force in the South Atlantic to maintain security, cooperation and peace, all of which are essential to the Brazilian economy. The ship can also assist in peacekeeping operations, as we do with our fleets in Lebanon,” said Capt. Giovani. Under the Royal Navy fleet, the ship participated in several humanitarian aid operations: in the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, and in Honduras and Nicaragua after Hurricane Mitch hit in 1998. In 2003, the vessel provided support to the London 2012 Summer Olympics. PHM Atlântico will be the Brazilian fleet’s main ship, a position NAe São Paulo aircraft carrier held previously. “[With PHM Atlântico] our pilots will be able to maintain training and be qualified in several types of missions, with a platform that operates all Navy aircraft, night and day,” said Capt. Giovani. In Brazil, the ship will add 129 crew-members to the 303 who returned from England. According to the officer, the Atlântico will incentivize the country’s naval industry. “The complexity level of a helicopter carrier is very high. This ship stimulates the naval industry, as maintenance of its equipment will require industrial and engineering capacities from our Navy Arsenal, but it will also represent an opportunity for defense industries to develop skills and keep their workforce qualified,” Capt. Giovani concluded.last_img read more

Olympic broadcasters gear up for the biggest show on earth

first_imgMadrid, Spain | AFP | Clock-watching is an integral part of any Olympic Games but even the most eagle-eyed sporting anoraks might be forgiven for missing the fact that Sunday marks 600 days until the start of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.For most people, it is not actually a particularly significant milestone but for 160 people of 35 nationalities beavering away in a building overlooking a highway in Madrid, the pressure of organising the biggest television show on earth just went up a notch.These are the people of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a wing of the International Olympic Committee responsible since 2008 for providing the pictures of every competition which are beamed around the world.The size of the audience is phenomenal as is the money that is generated.Over five billion viewers tuned in for the last Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 as opposed to 3.4 billion for this year’s football World Cup.Television stations from around the world have dished out more than six billion dollars for the rights to the Games in Tokyo — broadcasting the event is a complex, lucrative business managed from the Spanish capital.“Preparing and planning for the games is an ongoing function, so as we speak we are obviously very close to the finalisation of our plans for Tokyo,” says Yiannis Exarchos, the imposing Greek boss of the OBS.“But we have already started quite detailed planning for the winter games in Beijing (2022) and we have already started engaging with Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028).”– A ‘burden’ on host cities –The first time pictures were beamed live from the Olympics was Berlin in 1936. It wasn’t until the 1964 Games, also in Tokyo, that pictures went live around the world.Back then it was the responsibility of the host nation to provide the coverage and that is how it stayed until 2008.“During the games we employ a team of more than 7,000 professionals coming from 90 different countries, we have 1,000 cameras, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of cables,” says Exarchos. “This started to become a big burden for the organising committee as the Games grew bigger and more complex.“As early as the Games of Atlanta (1996), it was made clear that the IOC should do something to support the cities.”So it was that the IOC created OBS in 2001 to provide coverage of all Olympic and Paralympic Games.– Infrastructure –Beijing 2008 marked the OBS’ first outing and it comes as no surprise to discover that Sotiris Salamouris, who is in charge of technology at OBS, was back in Beijing last month to discuss the next Winter Olympics in 2022.“We need to have a good number of discussions with the organising committee in terms of the infrastructures they need to make available for us,” says Salamouris. “The IBC, that is the priority.”The IBC is the International Broadcast Centre, a bustling hub set up in each host city where television channels from all over the world get the signal from OBS to broadcast back home.“We need to work quite early with the organising committee to find this facility, to secure it, to agree about timelines, additional works necessary.“This is what we have begun with Paris,” says Salamouris looking ahead already to the Summer Olympics of 2024.Given that the IOC is based in Lausanne, it may raise an eyebrow to see that the OBS is centred in Madrid.“It does not come from heaven, it comes from (Manolo) Romero,” jokes IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs whose father served 21 years as president of the IOC.A Spaniard and in charge of radio and television coverage of the Games since Mexico in 1968, Romero was appointed head of OBS when it was created and insisted on the headquarters being in Madrid, where he lived.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Stephen Curry big favorite to win his first NBA Finals MVP

first_imgThe odds are Stephen Curry will soon have that elusive NBA Finals MVP in his possession — at least if you believe the Caesars Palace Race and Sports Book.After Golden State’s Game 2 victory evened the series Sunday, the Warriors’ star has been installed as the favorite at -200 to capture MVP honors for the first time in his fifth trip to the Finals.Raptors star Kawhi Leonard, at +280, is the next best bet to take home the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award. After Curry and Leonard, Caesars’ …last_img read more