The submarine ‘Arpão’ returned to Lisbon on Tuesday after 120 days of mission in the South Atlantic, under the ‘Open Sea’ exercise, the first time that a national submarine crossed the equator.
In a statement, the Navy wrote that the submarine, with a garrison of 35 and commanded by Captain Taveira Pinto, was welcomed back home on Tuesday at the Lisbon Naval Base in Almada.
This mission was carried out “within the framework of the Open Sea Initiative 23.2, in the South Atlantic, which contributed to the strengthening of military and diplomatic cooperation relations between Portugal and each of the countries the submarine visited”.
“During the mission, the Arpão visited two continents and five countries, Cabo Verde, Brazil, South Africa, Angola and Morocco, travelled more than 13,000 miles and carried out more than 2,500 hours of navigation”, the navy said.
The navy emphasised that this was “a historic milestone because it was the first Portuguese submarine to carry out a mission of this type, and it was also the first time that a Portuguese submarine had crossed the Equator”.
The ceremony to welcome the sailors back home was attended by the secretary of state for defence, Carlos Lopes Pires, and the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, among other entities.