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Almirante Saboia #20 World's Oldest Active Military Ship - Cruising Earth

Almirante Saboia Brazilian Navy

Almirante Saboia - Brazilian Navy
#20 World's Oldest Active Military Ship

Almirante Saboia is currently ranked #20 in the list of the World's Oldest Active Military Ships.

  • 20

    Brazilian Navy Logo
    Brazilian Navy
    Almirante Saboia
    Almirante Saboia

    In Service:
    (57 Years of Service)
    Ship Statistics
    In Service: May 18, 1967
    Weight: 6,700 Gross Tons
    Length: 449.50 Feet
    Beam: 65.60 Feet
    Speed: 17.0 knots / 19.6 mph
    Complement: 49
    Track Almirante Saboia

Almirante Saboia Historical Brief


The Brazilian Navy ship Almirante Saboia (G25) is an essential asset within the Brazilian fleet, serving various critical roles from amphibious operations to humanitarian missions. This historical brief explores its construction, transfer to the Brazilian Navy, operational history, notable missions, and its significance within the Brazilian maritime forces.

Construction and Initial Service

The ship that would become the Almirante Saboia was initially constructed for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. Laid down in 1969 by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders in Wallsend, England, the vessel was originally named HMS Sir Bedivere (L3004), an LSL (Landing Ship Logistics) Mark III. The ship was launched in 1969 and commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1970.

HMS Sir Bedivere was designed to support amphibious operations, capable of transporting troops, vehicles, and supplies directly to shore without the need for port facilities. Its robust design and versatility made it a valuable asset for the Royal Navy.

Transfer to the Brazilian Navy

In 2007, after nearly four decades of service with the Royal Navy, HMS Sir Bedivere was decommissioned. The Brazilian Navy acquired the ship in 2009 as part of its effort to modernize and enhance its amphibious and logistical capabilities. The ship was transferred to Brazil, where it underwent a refit and was subsequently commissioned into the Brazilian Navy as NDM Almirante Saboia (G25) on December 7, 2009. The name honors Admiral Jorge Eduardo Saboia, a distinguished figure in the Brazilian Navy.

Operational History

Early Service and Adaptation

Upon joining the Brazilian Navy, Almirante Saboia was tasked with various missions, leveraging its amphibious and logistical capabilities. The ship played a vital role in transporting military equipment, personnel, and humanitarian aid to different regions of Brazil, particularly those that are hard to reach by other means.

Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations

One of the most notable aspects of Almirante Saboia's service has been its involvement in humanitarian missions. The ship has been deployed to provide aid and relief in the aftermath of natural disasters, both domestically and internationally. For instance, Almirante Saboia has been instrumental in delivering food, medical supplies, and other essential goods to communities affected by floods, hurricanes, and other catastrophic events.

Notable Missions and Deployments

UN Peacekeeping Missions

Almirante Saboia has participated in several United Nations peacekeeping missions, demonstrating Brazil's commitment to international peace and security. The ship's ability to transport large numbers of troops and equipment has made it an invaluable asset in these operations, enabling the Brazilian Navy to support UN mandates effectively.

Exercise and Training Operations

The ship regularly participates in joint exercises and training operations with other navies, enhancing its operational readiness and fostering international cooperation. These exercises, often conducted with regional and global partners, aim to improve interoperability, share best practices, and prepare for coordinated responses to various maritime threats and challenges.

Domestic Support Missions

Domestically, Almirante Saboia has been deployed to support various national initiatives, including military training exercises, logistical support for remote military outposts, and the transportation of personnel and supplies to isolated regions. These missions highlight the ship's versatility and importance to Brazil's overall defense strategy.

Modernization and Upgrades

Since its acquisition, the Brazilian Navy has invested in modernizing Almirante Saboia to ensure its continued operational effectiveness. Upgrades have included enhancements to its communication and navigation systems, improvements to its cargo handling capabilities, and maintenance of its propulsion systems to extend its service life. These upgrades are crucial for maintaining the ship's readiness and ability to perform a wide range of missions.

Strategic Importance

Amphibious Operations

Almirante Saboia's primary role within the Brazilian Navy is to support amphibious operations. Its capacity to transport and deploy troops, vehicles, and equipment directly to shore makes it a critical asset for any amphibious assault or humanitarian mission. The ship's versatility allows it to operate in diverse environments, from coastal regions to riverine settings, expanding the reach and capabilities of the Brazilian Navy.

Logistical Support

The ship's logistical capabilities are equally important. Almirante Saboia can carry significant amounts of cargo, including military supplies, humanitarian aid, and construction materials. This capability is vital for sustaining operations in remote or disaster-stricken areas where traditional supply lines may be disrupted.

Future Prospects

The Brazilian Navy continues to rely on Almirante Saboia as a cornerstone of its amphibious and logistical capabilities. Looking forward, the Navy plans to further integrate the ship into its strategic plans, ensuring that it remains a versatile and effective tool for both military and humanitarian operations. Continued modernization efforts will be essential to maintaining the ship's operational readiness and extending its service life.


The Brazilian Navy ship Almirante Saboia (G25) has proven to be an invaluable asset since its acquisition from the Royal Navy. With a history that spans over half a century, the ship has demonstrated its versatility and capability in a wide range of operations, from amphibious assaults to humanitarian missions. Its contributions to both national defense and international peacekeeping efforts underscore its importance within the Brazilian Navy. As it continues to serve, Almirante Saboia remains a symbol of the Navy's commitment to protecting Brazil's maritime interests and supporting global peace and security initiatives.

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