The João Belo class, also known as Comandante João Belo class, is a class of four frigates of French design, identical to the Commandant Rivière class, with extra equipment for tropical climates. Ordered by the Portuguese Navy in 1964, the four ships of this class were constructed in Nantes' shipyard.
In the 1960s the Portuguese Navy was interested in the acquisition of British frigates of the Leander class, but because of British political opposition against Portugal this acquisition was impossible. Portugal was then forced to buy frigates of an already existing project due the urgency in the acquisition of naval ships for the defense of African, Macau's and Portuguese Timor's waters.
The two remaining frigates in active service of this class were replaced, in 2008, by the Bartolomeu Dias class (Dutch Karel Doorman class) in the Portuguese Navy. The NRP João Belo and the NRP Sacadura Cabral were sold to the Uruguayan Navy, becoming, respectively the ROU Uruguay and the ROU Pedro Campbell.