The Dictionnaire de la Marine Française 1788 – 1792 (by Nicolas-Charles Romme) describes avisos as "small boats designed to carry orders or advices".
French World War I avisos, used also during World War II, had displacement 300-700 tons, speed 13-20 knots, main armament usually of two 100 mm guns, two 138 mm guns or four 100 mm guns. In English they are often referred to as sloops. Colonial avisos, such as the Bougainville-class aviso intended for overseas service, were larger.
The Portuguese Navy built avisos to operate in the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese built 1st Rate avisos (Afonso de Albuquerque class) of 2,400 tons and 2nd Rate avisos (Gonçalo Velho and Pedro Nunes classes) of 1,200 to 1,700 tons. In 1932 the Portuguese Flower-class sloops were also classified as 2nd Rate avisos.
Modern avisos have grown to become combat-capable ships, smaller than a corvette but larger than patrol ships. They typically have roles in anti-submarine warfare and coastal defence. In NATO classification they are usually recognized as corvettes.
- Ivanov, V.V. (2004). Корабли Второй Мировой войны: ВМС Франции ("Korabli Vtoroy Mirovoy voyny: VMS Francyi"). Morskaya Kollekcya.
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- Flores-class gunboats – Dutch colonial avisos officially rated as "Kanonneerboot" (gunboats)
- HNLMS Johan Maurits van Nassau – improved Flores-class gunboat
- Erie and Charleston – US Navy gunboats similar to colonial avisos
- D'Estienne d'Orves-class avisos
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