BNS Amazonas (1909-BB (CV-1923 (CVE-1937)))


Back to Other Ships List


The Brazilians were informed by their informants in the Argentinian Navy that the Argentinian Navy had purchased an ex-German liner with the purpose of converting it to an aircraft carrier along the lines of what the British had done with the Argus. The Argentinian ship was around 750 feet and was thought it would be able to range 50-60 aircraft. This was a blow to Brazilian prestige who immediately entered into a search that ended with the purchase from the Soviets of what had been the Izmail (See Brasilia).

While this search and conversion was being undertaken the Brazilian Navy took the radical step of converting the old battleship Amazonas (ex Bellerophon) so that the Brazilian Navy pilots could have a ship to train on while the Brasilia was being sourced. Fitted with a short 411 foot take off and landing deck it was found that to get the fully laden aircraft into the air without them dropping onto the foredeck and exploding required a short ramp at the front that helped to launch them into the air. This feature was removed in the 1935 refurbishment. The initial conversion only gave a small area where 8-10 aircraft could be hangared. Accepted into service in 1923 the ship sailed to Brazilian waters, arriving there early 1924 from when intensive training was undertaken.

When the Brasilia arrived in service in 1932 it was decided that the Amazonas should receive a full conversion to an aircraft carrier and continue as the training carrier, only receiving an air group of its own in time of war.


Displacement 18,500 tons std 22,400 tons full load
Length 536 ft
Breadth 82 ft hull (94 ft over sponsons)
Draught 30 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 26,000shp
Speed 22 knots
Range 5500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 4" side, 2" deck,
Armament 6 x 4" (3x2)

10 x 20mm (10x1)

Aircraft 18-24 depending on size and type
Torpedoes nil
Complement 540



Back to Other Ships List