Naval News reports Portugal has decided to procure six additional Offshore Patrol Vessels of the Viana do Castelo class, adding to the four currently in service.
This has been something of a slow-motion program, with the first two of class being laid down in 2004 but not commissioned until 2011 and 2013. After the first two ships, the pace improved considerably. The third and fourth, built by a different shipyard, were laid down in 2017 and commissioned in 2018 and 2019. The additional six ships are expected to be commissioned by 2029, with the first to be commissioned in 2023.
The ships themselves fall between the 210s and 270s in terms of sophistication and capability. About the size of the 270s but without a hangar and only a 30mm gun with an optical firecontrol system. Their speed is better than either USCG cutter at 21 knots. The crew is much smaller, 35 with accommodations for 32 additional.
They are equipped for mine laying. Two of the existing ships have pollution recovery systems.