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NRP Corte-Real frigate of Portuguese Navy to join NATO Maritime Group 1.

| 2021

The NRP Corte-Real (F332) Vasco da Gama-class frigate of the Portuguese Navy began preparation for its integration in the NATO Maritime Group 1, an international naval immediate reaction force.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Portuguese Navy NRP Corte-Real (F332) Vasco da Gama-class frigate.  (Picture source Wikimedia)

The Standing Naval Forces are under the control of NATO Allied Maritime Command which response to Allied Command Operations. They are comprised of the Standing NATO Maritime Groups 1 and 2, and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Groups 1 and 2.

This multinational, integrated force is continuously available to perform tasks ranging from participating in exercises to conducting NATO missions. These forces are part of the maritime component of the NATO Response Force.

NRP Corte-Real (F332) is a Vasco da Gama-class frigate operated by the Portuguese Navy. She was laid down by the German shipbuilding company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft on 20 October 1989. The ship was launched on 22 November 1991 and commissioned on 1 February 1992.

Currently, three ships of the Vasco da Gama-class frigate are in service with the Portuguese Navy including the NRP Vasco da Gama (F330), NRP Álvares Cabral (F331), and the NRP Corte-Real (F332). The ship is based on the German MEKO 200 PN design.

The Corte-Real frigate is powered by a CODOG (Combined Diesel or gas) propulsion system integrating two MTU 20V 956 TB92 diesel engines and two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines. The ship can reach a top speed of 32 knots (59 km/h) with the gas turbines and 20 knots (37 km/h) with the Diesel engines.

The Corte-Real frigate has a length of 115.9 m, a beam of 14.8 m, a draught of 6.2 m, and a full displacement load of 3,200 tons. The ship has a crew of 180 people including 19 officers, 40 petty officers, and 102 sailors. She has a flight deck and hangar that can accommodate two Super Lynx Mk 95 helicopters with a crew of six.

The Corte-Real frigate is armed with one 100 mm Mod68 CADAM naval gun, one Phalanx CIWS 20 mm Vulcan anti-ship missile defense system, six 12.75-inch Mk32 torpedo tubes in triple mountings, two Mk 141 quad-pack Launcher for a maximum of 8 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and one MK 21 Guided Missile Launching System for 8 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow anti-missile weapon system.

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