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Brazilian Navy - Marinha do Brasil - Modernization

On 18 December 2008, President Lula signed the National Defense Strategy, concluding a fifteen month drafting exercise. The document was principally drafted by Minister for Strategic Planning Roberto Mangabeira Unger, and it provides a security policy framework that places defense in the context of the government,s broader goal of national development. Under this strategy, the doctrine of unequal and joint development has implications in the rearrangement of the naval forces. The most important implication is that the Navy will rebuilt itself, in stages, as a weapon balanced among the underwater, the surface, and the aerospace components.

After more than twenty years outside the political mainstream, and twenty years of minimal resources, the Brazilian military is now making a case for its modernization. Making the case, however, means that the Defense Strategy must observe the conventional wisdom of Brazilian politics. There is no threat, for example, to Brazil,s maritime oil deposits, but Brazilian leaders and media have routinely cited oil discoveries off the coast as an urgent reason for better maritime security. This concern has been merged with Brazil,s twenty year quest to develop a nuclear submarine to give new impetus to research on a small reactor for naval propulsion.

To ensure the sea denial objective, Brazil will count on a powerful underwater naval force consisting of conventional and nuclear-propelled submarines. Brazil will maintain and develop its ability to design and manufacture both conventional and nuclear-propelled submarines. It will speed up investments and the necessary partnerships to run the nuclear-propelled submarine project. It will arm conventional and nuclear-propelled submarines with missiles and will develop the capacity to design and manufacture them. It will seek to gain autonomy in cyber-technologies that guide submarines and their weapon systems, making possible for them to network with other naval, ground and air forces.

To ensure its power projection capacity, the Navy will also have Marines available and permanently ready for employment. The existence of these means is also essential for the defense of naval and port facilities, archipelagos and oceanic islands within The Brazilian jurisdictional waters, to perform in international peacekeeping operations and humanitarian operations anywhere in the world. In the waterways, these means will be fundamental to ensure the control of the banks during riverine operations. The Marine Corps will consolidate itself as the force of expeditionary character par excellence.

The naval surface force will count both on big ships, capable of operating and remaining on the high sea for a long time, and smaller vessels used to patrol the coastline and the main Brazilian navigable rivers. A requirement for the maintenance of this fleet will be the capacity of the Air Force to work along with Naval Aviation to guarantee local air superiority in case of an armed conflict.

Among the high sea vessels, the Navy will dedicate special attention to the design and manufacturing of multiple-purpose vessels that can also be used as aircraft carriers. Preference will be given to conventional and exclusive aircraft carriers. The Navy will also count on combat, transport and oceanic, coastal and river patrol vessels. These vessels will be designed and manufactured according to the same concerns in terms of the functional versatility that will guide the construction of high sea warships. The Navy will increase its presence in the navigable waterways of the two large river basins – the Amazon and Paraguai- Paraná rivers – using both patrol boats and transport ships, both provided with helicopters and adapted to the water regime.

The 2010 Joint Plan and Marine Equipment of Brazil (O Plano de Articulação e Equipamento da Marinha do Brasil - PAEMB), in line with the National Strategy of Defense (END - Estratégia Nacional de Defesa), sees that the Navy of Brazil (MB Marinha do Brasil) will incorporate a new ship-aerodrome [novo navio-aeródromo] from 2025, replacing the ship-Aerodrome São Paulo. The PEAMB provided for investments of up to 80 billion euros, included two 50 thousand ton aircraft carriers, 4 LHDs of about 20 thousand tons, 30 escort ships, 15 conventional submarines (SBR - Brazilian Submarine), 6 nuclear submarines (SNBR - Brazilian Nuclear submarine), as well as 62 patrol boats. In November 2009, the Minister Jobim announced that Brazilian plans were to build 3 SNBRs instead of the original single. In 2010, it was said that eventually 15 SBRs and 6 SNBRs were to be built in the country.

According to the Defense Articulation and Equipment Plan (Plano de Articulação e Equipamento de Defesa or PAED), the Ministry of Defense has identified and is coordinating the following priority projects for the armed forces: Brazilian Navy: The Brazilian Navy has seven priority projects to be implemented by 2031. The total estimated value is R$211 billion (US$119 billion). The most important Navy opportunities include:

  • Navy Modernization Program: This is an extensive program that includes the gradual replacement of naval air and sea combat platforms. Some of the projects include:
  • PROSUB: program to develop non-nuclear submarines.
  • PROSUPER (Programa de Obtenção de Meios de Superfície): a surface vessel procurement program for five 1,800-ton ocean patrol vessels, five 6,000-ton frigates and a single support vessel, all of which are to be built locally in cooperation with Brazilian companies according to Brazilian law and offset requirements.
  • Amazon Blue Management System (SisGAAz): This is the Navy’s program for the surveillance and monitoring of Brazilian waters. It will also increase efficiency of search and rescue operations developed in conjunction with the police. Full implementation is scheduled to occur by 2024.
  • Navigation Safety: This project foresees the expansion of the Brazilian Navy presence in the Amazon and Midwest region as well as surveillance in border areas and large river basins.

The PAEMB calls for strengthening and restructuring of the 1st Squadron / 1st Amphibious Division (southeast of the country), and the creation of the 2nd Fleet / 2nd Amphibious Division (North East). Also according to the PAEMB, the MB will acquire an initial batch of 24 aircraft units, replacing the A-4 Skyhawk. Following the standardization policy implemented by the Ministry of Defense for the acquisition of military equipment, the MB follows closely the outcome of the FX-2 Program of the Brazilian air force, as the embarked version of the FX-2 aircraft would be ordered by MB on-board air wing to make the new ship-aerodrome.

Naval assets (claimants)

2 Aircraft Carriers Porta aviões
4 Multi Purpose Ship 4 Navios Multi Porpósito
30 escorts Escoltas
5 Logistic Support ShipsNavios de apoio logístico
3 Ocean Tugs Rebocadores de alto Mar
1 Hospital Ship Navio Hospital
8 Landing HovercraftHovercraft de desembarque
16 general cargo landing vessels Embarcações de desembarque de carga geral
32 vehicle landing vesselsEmbarcações de desembarque de viaturas
1 Transport and support shipNavio de transporte e apoio
15 conventional submarines, SSK Submarinos convencionais, SSK
6 nuclear attack submarines, SSN Submarinos nucleares de ataque, SSN
8 minesweepers Navios caça-minas
2 submarine rescue ships Navios de socorro à submarinos

Means naval air / Meios Aeronavais

48 fighter / naval attack (embarked) Caças/ataque naval (embarcados)
08 early warning aircraft, AEW (embarked) Aeronaves de alerta antecipado-AEW (embarcados)
08 freighter and refueling aircraft (embarked) Aeronaves cargueiras e de reabastecimento (embarcados)
08 Patrol and Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (possibly embarked) Aeronaves de patrulha e vigilância marítima (provavelmente embarcados)
50 Multiple-Purpose Helicopters Helicópteros múltiplo emprego
50 General Purpose Helicopters (mediume) Helicópteros emprego geral (médio)
24 General Purpose helicopters (light) Helicópteros emprego geral (leve)
30 Training Helicopters Helicópteros instrução
10 Systems UAV surveillance and reconnaissance (embarked) Sistemas VANT de vigilância e reconhecimento (embarcados)

Means Amphibians (Marines) / Meios Anfíbios (fuzileiros navais)

79 Cars caterpillar amphibians Carros lagarta anfíbios
21 TanksCarros de combate
72 armored vehicle on wheel (Troop Transport)Viaturas blindadas sobre roda (Transporte de Tropas)
72 Viaturas on armored caterpillar (Troop Transport)iaturas blindadas sobre lagarta (Transporte de Tropas)
30 105 mm howitzers Obuseiros 105 mm
6 155 mm howitzers Obuseiros 155 mm
1 battery rocket launcherBateria de lançador foguetes
2 Battery anti-air defenseBateria de defesa anti-aérea
2 Grouping of electronic warfareGrupamento de guerra eletrônica
4 Modular BridgesPontes modulares
38 Unmanned reconnaissance Veículos aéreos não tripulados de reconhecimento

The implementation of PAEMB depends on ensuring a steady flow of investments, for two decades or more. Getting the future aircraft carriers, with their aircraft, will be one of the most expensive aspects of such a plan. The ultimate solution to the problem of investment in defense in Brazil might only be possible when the budget of the Union become judgmental. In Brazil, the low defence budgets make it impractical to invest in the modernization of the armed forces, using ordinary resources. To this end, it is necessary to make use of extrabudgetary resources (such as loans and financing from abroad), being included in annual budgets only parcels for amortization and interest payments.

The Navy Modernization Program (PRM) from 2006 to 2025, sent to the Ministry of Defence in July 2005, was structured in two decades (2006-2015 and 2016-2025) , in line with the National Defense Strategy and is intended to replacement and modernization of the means priority for the operational capability of the Force.

The Brazilian Navy has a history of launching ambitious programs which fail to come to fruition. A total of four Barroso-class corvettes were planned, but only one completed, very slowly. A total of 12 Inhauma-class corvettes were planned, but only four were completed. Teh six Niteroi class frigates experienced considerable delay in fitting out. In a program plagued by technological and design flaws, the navy's nuclear submarine program swallowed about $1 billion in R&D costs. By the turn of the Century, the navy claimed it was still 20 years, and $500 million, away from final development and delivery of a nuclear sub. Meanwhile, the navy was in dire need of escort vessels, and was hard pressed to maintain its aging fleet. Navy command was also interested in submarine rescue, diesel submarine, and UNITAS training and exercises.

On the other hand, in recent years Brazil's defense budget has averaged about 1.5% of GDP, nearly $40 billion each year. In the year 2012 Brazil's GDP was $1.2 trillion at market exchange rates, and $2.1 trillion at PPP rates. By the year 2022 Brazil's GDP is expected to grow to $2.2 trillion at market exchange rates, and $3.8 trillion at PPP rates. Brazil's defense budget might be expected to double over this same time frame.

Of the 30 escorts provided for in the PAEMB, the first 5, with 6,000 tons displacement, should be contracted by 2013. The first unit would begin to be built one year after the signing of the contract and will take six years to complete. This initial batch will have capacity for anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-aircraft operations, and will be designated as escorts employment overall (escoltas de emprego geral EG). In the second batch of 5 units, it was expected to have capacity of area defense, medium and long range missiles. The first 10 escorts should be incorporated until 2031. All sources agree that the objective is 30 escorts, and sources are equally unanimous in their silence as to the remaining 20.

Of the 12 Oceanic Patrol Vessels (NPaOc) 1,800 tonnes in the PAEMB, the first 4 are to be announced in 2011 and construction should begin in 2012. The first unit to be built in 2015. The other every two years. A second batch of 4 ships should also be paid for and built before 2031. Of 46 patrol vessels of Class "Macaé" (500t) provided in PAEMB, 2 had already been built by 2011, four are under construction. A second batch of six units must be bought by 2015. A third batch of 6 units must also be engaged in the 2020s. The total is thus 18 units by 2031.

Transport and Support Vessels (NaTrAp Navio de Transporte e Apoio) were under development as of 2009, designed by Design Center Ships MB. The ship will displace about 9,000 tons, can carry up to 500 Marines, will have a flight deck that allows the simultaneous use of two heavy helicopters, besides two ramps of 40 tons, and another at the stern on the starboard side.

Of the 5 Ship Support Logisticos (NApLog - Navios de Apoio Logisticos ) provided in PAEMB, the first was to be commissioned by 2012, being incorporated in 2015. Two more units must be contracted by 2031, possibly the DCNS BRAVE design. These will dispace 22,000 tons and will be able to provide fuel at sea, including aviation, lubricants, ammunition, water and food genres.

On September 4, 2008, it was reported that Brazil could build a total of 6 FREMM Multimission Frigates. The Brazil had still promido in April 12, 2010 a strategic agreement with Italy, which included the area of Defense, more specifically, projects and shipbuilding. With this, the Italian FREMMs were acknowledged and 18 units should be built in Brazil, being 3 in first order. It was said then that the Navy used to dream that the order could reach 30 units over time. The contract on the Italian FREMM and other vessels would be built for the Navy of Brazil was signed by President Lula and Prime Minister Silvio Berluscone during the visit to Brazil in July 2010. However, relations between the two countries soured when the Supreme Court decided in June 2011 that the Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti, sentenced to life imprisonment in his home country for killings in the 1970s, was released in Brazil. The Brazilian Government canceled the contract and left for other options.

Possessing one of the fastest growing defense markets in the world, Brazil has been planning to invest in renovating its navy fleet, and is expected to sign deals worth between R$4-R$6 billion. As of 2010 it was expected that the selection will be made by the end of 2011. After signing the initial contract, which is expected to occur in 2012, discussions over technology transfer. The first frigate was expected to be ready between 2018 and 2019, with the patrol vessels being delivered a year before.

The planned renovation of the navy fleet will involve eleven or twelve vessels at the first stage: six patrol vessels worth R$160-R$215 million each, and five or six Type 26 frigates that each cost R$800 million to one billion. BAE Systems submitted a detailed proposal to the Brazilian Navy for an 11-ship fleet renewal package that included Type 26 frigates, but goes beyond. In addition to having Brazil join the Global Combat Ship (Type 26/27) program at the design stage, BAE’s proposal would supply a modified Wave Class fleet tanker and a variant of BAE’s River Class Ocean Patrol Vessel that’s similar to ships being built under technology transfer in Thailand. All ships would be built in Brazil.

The final choice among the potential contractors will be between the offers from the U.K., Italy, Germany, France and Korea. The frigate offer faced competition from shipbuilders like France’s DCNS (FREMM/ Gowind), and possibly other competitors like Spain’s Navantia (F100), Royal Dutch Schelde (Sigma), and even South Korea’s Daewoo. The German-Dutch F124 air defense frigates feature stealth and advanced air defense active array radars, and use the ubiquitous American Mk-41 Vertical Launch System. A less expensive, and less capable alternative is ThyssenKrupp Marine’s popular MEKO family of ships. Schelde’s modular Sigma Class can also be built as anything from an Offshore Patrol Vessel to a full-size frigate. Russia has their own set of naval clients, China has recently begun exporting frigates, and will soon be joined by South Korea’s naval shipbuilding industry,

German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle said 27 April 2010 that ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AG, a unit of German steelmaker and engineering company ThyssenKrupp AG, can hope for a frigate order worth billions from Brazil. "Progress is being made there. We hope that we will advance a little further," Bruederle said ahead of talks with government representative from Brazil. Brazil plans to buy three frigates for around EUR1.5 billion. A decision was expected within the coming year. ThyssenKrupp and yacht manufacturer Abu Dhabi MAR in April 2010 signed a deal to establish a 50-50 joint venture to design and build naval surface ships, such as frigates, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels.

Brazil is ThyssenKrupp's number one market in terms of sales and production location in South America. The local companies comprise a workforce of more than 18,000 employees. Our largest company is RIP - Serviços Industriais with 6.200 employees. With more than 5,300 employees, the Group is also one of Brazil's leading automotive suppliers. The biggest production company is ThyssenKrupp Metalúrgica Campo Limpo Ltda., established as a local automotive supplier back in 1954. Today, the company employs about 2,900 people. ThyssenKrupp Elevadores S.A. is Brazil's second-largest elevator company and employs about 3,000 people. The new integrated steel mill being built by ThyssenKrupp in the state of Rio de Janeiro at a cost of €5.2 billion is the biggest industrial investment in Brazil in the past ten years and is also the first major steel mill to be built in the country since the mid-1980s.

On the back of a Defence Cooperation Agreement, announced 14 September 2010 by the UK and Brazilian Governments, BAE Systems confirmed its commitment to Brazil and its naval re-equipment program in a move that paves the way for new industrial partnerships with Brazil. Speaking in Brazil as part of a trade mission led by Gerald Howarth, UK Minister for International Security Strategy, Dean McCumiskey, BAE Systems’ Managing Director for the West, said: “In line with today's government to government agreement we are offering an assured warship procurement package to Brazil. This is based on proven and versatile ship designs and includes an invitation to become an international partner in our new Global Combat Ship program. “If BAE Systems is selected to support Brazil’s ambitious naval re-equipment programme, the ships we develop will be built at a partner shipyard in Brazil, with maximum content sourced from the wider Brazilian industry. This will help to sustain jobs and support the development of skills and high-end technology transfer between the two countries.”

The offer, presented to Brazilian government officials, was designed to meet the objectives set out in Brazil’s National Strategy of Defence to enhance its indigenous industrial capability by enabling Brazil to develop an independent, sustainable naval shipbuilding and through-life maritime support capability. “BAE Systems has a long track record of working with the Brazilian Navy,” added Ben Palmer, Business Development Director at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division. “Our involvement can be traced back to Brazil’s Niteroi Class frigates supplied by our legacy business VT Shipbuilding in the 1970s.”

The Global Combat Ship program will deliver a new generation of affordable multirole warships featuring a core platform, which is sufficiently open to allow tailored equipment and systems to be integrated to meet individual customer needs. The first class of ships being developed under the program is the Type 26 variant for the UK Royal Navy, which is expected to enter service at the start of the next decade. Becoming involved at this early stage will give Brazil the opportunity to influence design development. The resulting rationalised design, build and procurement process will also reduce the cost per ship and deliver substantial through-life savings to both Brazil and the UK in training, maintenance and support.

In the near term, BAE Systems believed that its 90 meter Ocean Patrol Vessel will prove an attractive option to the Brazilian Navy. With full blue water capability, it can undertake surveillance and deterrence of oil and gas installations in Brazil’s territorial waters as well as more general maritime security and search and rescue operations. The design is based on the proven River Class vessels in use with the UK Royal Navy and uses the same core platform as the vessels BAE Systems has built for the Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard, with systems and equipment tailored to the Brazilian Navy’s requirements. The company already has a similar technology transfer agreement in place with Bangkok Dock in Thailand, which is building one vessel of this class for the Royal Thai Navy.

Other elements of the offer include proven Logistic Support Ship and ultimately Aircraft Carrier designs, as well as support to enhance Brazil’s naval combat system using technologies gained in developing CMS-1 Combat Management System and Artisan radar for the UK Royal Navy. All of which will be backed by comprehensive through-life capability management and training of those involved in the build and operations of the ships to deliver a low risk solution, with maximise return on Brazil’s equipment investment.

In January 2012 the Brazilian Navy signed a contract worth £133 million with BAE Systems for the supply of three ton Ocean Patrol Vessels and ancillary support services. The contract also contains a Manufacturing Licence to enable further vessels of the same class to be constructed in Brazil. The three 90 meter vessels, originally constructed for the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, will provide the Brazilian Navy with enhanced maritime capability in the near term, pending the acquisition of future ships under its PROSUPER program (Brazil’s current surface ship acquisition plan).

As part of the Manufacturing Licence, a Design Information Package is provided which will contain the relevant design and manufacturing information to enable the Brazilian Navy to construct further Ocean Patrol Vessels in Brazil, helping to support the country’s naval re-equipment program and strengthen Brazil’s maritime industrial capability. The PROSUPER program for the acquisition of future ships includes a further five Ocean Patrol Vessels of c.1,800 tonnes to be constructed in Brazil.

AMAZONAS, the first of three Ocean Patrol Vessels built by BAE Systems, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base 29 June 2012. As the national anthems of Brazil and the UK played, employees and guests, including representatives from the Brazilian Navy, Royal Navy and UK Government, watched as members of the ship’s company raised the ensign for the first time, formally marking the handover of the Brazilian Navy’s newest vessel.

The first of its class, the Amazonas, was built on the premises of BAE Systems in Portsmouth. The other two ships of its class, the Apa and Araguari were built on the banks of the River Clyde, and the delivery of both was scheduled for December 2012 and April 2013, respectively.

The Brazilian Navy’s warship, NPaOc Apa, went to sea 30 January 2013, the first time since the Ocean Patrol Vessel was handed over on 30 November last year. Before leaving the UK towards the end of February the crew underwent FOST training in Scotland. During the two-month trip to her base in Rio de Janeiro, Apa will visit Portugal, Spain (Gran Canaria), Mauritania, Senegal, Angola, Namibia, and the Brazilian ports of Rio Grande and Itajai. A third OPV, to be named Araguari, will be handed over in a few months time. With a design based on the RN’s River class OPVs, the Brazilian ships are aptly named after rivers.

Despite the relatively large size-more than 2,000-tons fully loaded, have light weapons. There are no torpedoes or missiles. The main cannon has caliber 30 mm against 114 mm of frigates and corvettes of the Navy. The fact is that the Navy found that the country has to be defended new facilities, such as oil platforms off the coast.

Of the four multipurpose ships (NPM navios de propósitos múltiplos ) provided in PAEMB, as of 2011 the first two were beginning to be produced from 2012. The first unit will be built in 2020 and the second in 2024. These will dispace between 20,000 and 25,000 tons, and will be equipped with dock and replace all Landing Ship Dock (NDD Navios Desembarque Doca) and Landing Ship Tank ["Combat Car" (NDCC - Navios de Desembarque de Carros de Combate ) currently in operation.

Programa de Obtencao de Meios de Superficie (PROSUPER)

The Brazilian Navy (MB) has been concentrating its efforts on the Strategic Project of "Construction of the Nucleus of Naval Power", which will result in the expansion of operational capacity. With an estimated duration of 12 years, counting from the signing of the commercial contracts, PROSUPER foresees the construction of 5 Ocean Patrol Ships of 1,800 tons, 5 Ship-Escort of 6,000 tons and 1 Logistic Support Ship of about 23,000 tons.

The construction of these ships will be made from already existing projects and tested, adapted to meet the MB requirements. In addition, PROSUPER requires that the construction be carried out in Brazil, through an association between the foreign designer shipyard and one or more private Brazilian shipyards, in contracts covered by Government Agreements and that guarantee the transfer of technology.

Seven shipbuilding designers presented commercial proposals for MB: ThyssenKrupp (Germany); DSME (South Korea); Navantia (Spain); DCNS (France); Damen (The Netherlands); Ficantieri (Italy) and BAE (United Kingdom). At the end of 2013 MB submitted the report to the Presidency of the Republic with its considerations on the proposals presented. However, in mid-2014, MB decided to request proposals from all the participating shipyards, and, thus, PROSUPER is without definition of its winner and waiting for the decision / choice by the President of the Republic.




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