During the Portuguese Monarchy era, there was not a standard method of referring to the Royal Portuguese Navy's ships. After the establishment of the Portuguese Republic in 5 October 1910, all the Portuguese Navy's naval ships started to be officially referred by her name preceded by Navio da República Portuguesa or its abbreviation.
After July 1981, the Portuguese Navy's vessels not considered as naval ships came to be officially referred to by the prefix Unidade Auxiliar da Marinha (Navy's Auxiliary Unit), abbreviated as U.A.M. or UAM.
Sometimes, some of Navy Portuguese vessels are referred by alternative prefixes that indicate their function or type, as N.E. for Navio-Escola (school ship) or N.H. for Navio Hidrográfico (hydrographic ship). For example, although the official name of the school ship Sagres be N.R.P. Sagres, is occasionally referred to as N.E. Sagres.
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