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"Tamandaré" Class Corvettes (CCT) - Background

For Brasília politicians, more than a military means, the "Tamandaré" Class Corvettes (CCT) program was the crowning of the national effort for an autochthonous development of military ships. It was the coveted "National Product made with National Technology" and this has a clear political value. With the decision and schedule of construction of the other three ships after the first tests of the lead ship, the Navy did not want in any way to repeat the errors of the construction of the Inhaúma Class corvettes. More than just another military ship, the future corvette inaugurates for the Brazilian naval industry what may be a new family of products with real export potential, focused especially on navies from countries in Africa and South America. In 2010 Emgepron openly mentioned the possibility of offering for export a new patrol vessel developed from the hull of a simplified Barroso frigate.

The beginning of construction of the first of the four corvettes derived from the Barroso project (V34) was initiallyy marked by the Planalto to occur in December 2014 and, by then, much would have to be further defined and detailed in this project. The Ship Design Center, located inside the Navy Arsenal of Rio de Janeiro, developed the first two phases of this program: the feasibility determination phase of the high level system requirements (RANS) and then its Project of Conception. While the various shipyards and competing naval design offices assembled their service proposals, the Navy Project Center of Brazil completed the designs of the Design Project, the input the winning company would use to carry out the job. The engineering company to be contracted would prepare the Preliminary Project which would consequently be part of the documentation of the selection process of the shipyard that would be contracted to build the first ship.

The outer (hydrodynamic) forms of the hull would be strictly the same as the current model, the operational evaluations of Barroso were very satisfactory and it was confirmed that all the notorious sailor vices of the Inhaúma class corvettes were duly remedied. The length follows the same with 103.40 m, the beam with 11.40 m, also did not change, and only the draft revealing the impact of the modest increase of the displacement from 2350 to 2480 tons.

With a more optimized compartment organization, one of the Barroso crew's complaints would be met, the longitudinal deck corridor would look straighter and would also be less obstructed by boxes and systems installed on its walls. The main deck would become part of the structure "beam-ship", thus giving greater resistance to its structure. In Barroso this does not occur because the upper deck has a "tapping", a change of its inclination of pronounced way, between the foremost bulkhead of the superstructure and the end of the bow. This change would also create a better use of existing spaces just below the main deck. It was decided by the Admiralty that the new ship would not yet have a covert bow like the FREMM and other more modern ships, but the traditional balustrades (the aluminum grids that used to circle the bow) in Barroso were in the past, being replaced by a "false border", an extension of the hull upwards, in order to prevent the sailors from falling into the sea by accident.

As part of the superstructure would be made of aluminum, but the hull would be made of steel, the edital specifies the use of "clad bars" which have one side made of aluminum and the other made of steel. This bar allows the builder shipbuilder to weld with aluminum and steel at the same time in all simplicity solving all the traditional problems of the interface between the panels of the two metals. The INACE shipyard used this technology in the two Macaé class NPa500s built there. In turn, the EISA shipyard opted not to use this technology in its own NPas still under construction in Rio de Janeiro.

The Navy was undeniably pleased with the CODOG (combined diesel and gas turbine) propulsion previously used in Barroso, however, it was precisely a careful analysis of the operating standards of this last corvette, especially the time spent in each speed range, which allowed to make an important decision that broke a traditional paradigm. The study unquestionably pointed to the fact that Barroso, in all its years in service, has used its GE LM2500 turbine in no more than 4% of the time. In addition to the high speed that can be achieved by operating the now four MTU 16V 1163 diesel engines identical to those of Barroso, there was no way to defend the continued use of a turbine propulsion, however anachronistic this might seem to be in principle.

According to manufacturer BAE Systems reported to the British Royal Navy, the year 2035 was the deadline for technical support for the well-known Vickers Mk8 4.5-mm bow cannon used in Barroso (and the Inhumables and Niters before it). Therefore, it did not make sense to use it once again in the new corvettes since the first one would only come into service from 2020. For its place would most likely be a lighter cannon, the 76mm Otomelara, which unfortunately would reduce the ability of the new class in the fire support activity against ground targets. At the rear of the hangar, another cannon between 30 and 40mm would be used for the approximate aerial defense of the ship.

None of the previous corvettes of the Brazilian Navy were equipped with anti-aircraft missiles for their own organic defense. This was due not only to costs, but also to the difficulty of having adequate space in the small hull of the corvettes to install a large container such as the Albatros of the Aspide missiles, a model used in Niteroi ModFrag. From the Barroso construction period to date, the various vertical launchers, as well as their missiles, have become a universal standard for ships of all sizes.

On the instructions of the Navy Commander himself, the new corvette would need to be able to operate the AH-11A Super Lynx of the new Naval Aviation antisubmarine helicopters, the Sikorsky MH-16 SeaHawk, although not originally contained in the High Level Requirements of System (RANS) approved by the Admiralty. This was a much larger aircraft than the Super Lynx and so would also be installed a system of retention and movement of the aircraft ASIST (Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse) of the company IDAL Technologies. ASIST was already employed on ships of the Chilean Navy, Singapore and Turkey, as well as the US Navy and Coast Guard. With this, the size of the DAE can be reduced since only one military person would be needed to be able to move the helicopter in the convoy and still take it out and relocate it from the hangar.

The Brazilian Navy, through the Navy Program Management Directorate (DGePM), announced the closure, on 10 May 2017, of the first stage of the process of obtaining, by construction, four military ships with requirements based on the project the "Tamandaré" Class Corvettes (CCT - Corvetas classe Tamandaré). In that phase, initiated on April 10, 2017, the DGePM published in the Official Gazette (DOU) a Public Call inviting to participate in the future bidding process companies or consortia, national or foreign, trained in the last ten years in shipbuilding highly technological complexity, with a displacement of more than 2,500 tons.

The "Tamandaré" Corvette (CCT) was designed by the Ship Design Center of the Brazilian Navy (CPN) under the "stealth" concept. It was an evolution of the classes "Inhaúma" and "Barroso". The CCT was designed to be a powerful platform for miscellaneous missions and for employment against air, surface and submarine threats. The ship can be configured with various systems and weapons, such as medium and thick guns, machine guns and tactical control systems. The corvette also has a convoy and hangar for an organic helicopter. In 2018 the naval chiefs would select the three proposals that best fit the requirements elaborated by the Center of Projects of Ships of MB for the new class. Next year, shipyards that had their proposals included in this short list would be invited to offer a final proposal (improved in price) - also known as BAFO (Best and Final Offer). After this stage the Navy hopes to announce the winning company. The ships would be built in a Brazilian shipyard with assistance from the foreign manufacturer company. The following companies / consortia, in alphabetical order, submitted documents in accordance with the Notice of Public Call:

  • BAE Systems Ltd;
  • Chalkins Shipyards SA;
  • China Shipbuilding and Offshore Co Ltd;
  • China Shipbuilding Trading CO .;
  • Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding BV;
  • DCNS do Brasil Serviços Navais Ltda;
  • Ficantieri SpA;
  • German Naval Yards Kiel GmbH;
  • Goa Shipyard Ltd;
  • Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd;
  • Navantia SA;
  • Poly Technologies Inc;
  • Posco Daewoo from Brazil;
  • Rosoboronexport Joint Stock Company;
  • SAAB AB;
  • Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd;
  • State Research and Design Shipbuilding Center;
  • Turkish Associated International Shipyards;
  • Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH;
  • Wuhu Shipyard CO .;
  • Zentech do Brasil Serviços Técnicos Ltda.

The process of obtaining the CSTs would obey the following basic guidelines established by MB:

  • priority in meeting the country's strategic defense needs by obtaining new surface military vessels in order to contribute to the accomplishment of the constitutional tasks of the Naval Force;
  • the need to have a company capable of designing and constructing highly complex military ships, whose contracting should be associated with a national shipyard and the compensatory practice aimed at the generation of industrial, technological and commercial benefits to Brazil; and
  • recognition of the strategic and economic importance of participation in the process of the national companies that make up the defense industrial base.

The next stage of the project involves the preparation and dissemination of the Request for Proposal (RFP) in the second half of 2017.

The Tamandaré Class would use practically the hydrodynamic part and propulsion of the Corvette Barroso. The project center of the Navy has done studies to modernize the high parts of the new class and with that the RCS of the same was reduced substantially. For the new class the Brazilian Navy has been probing and opting for some interesting components in the state of the art to equip them, being that to replace all the masts, sensors, antennas by the project of Thales denominated I-Mast 100, where the modular design of the same integrates everything necessary for modern naval warfare, as well as reducing the RCS of the ship by a large percentage.

In December 2017, the Brazilian Navy issued a request for proposals for the construction of four new Tamandare class corvettes. Initially, it was about ships with a displacement of up to 2,790 tons and a length of about 103 meters. But later the Brazilians declared their readiness to consider also variants with a displacement of more than 3000 tons. The Brazilian Navy expects to receive new ships in the period 2022-2025.

There were nine participants in the tender for the construction of the Brazilian ships of the Tamandare class. The Indian Goa Shipyard Limited , the British BAE Systems, the Dutch Damen, the Italian Fincantieri , the French Naval Group , the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the Turkish STM the Indian company Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), and the Ukrainian "Ukrinmash".

On June 28, 2018 BAE Systems sent its proposal to the Brazilian Navy for the Tamandaré warship program, with a design based on the proposal of the British frigate Type 31e. The vessel was presented at the Latin American Warships and OPV (Offshore Patrol vessels) Conference, where BAE Systems was a major sponsor in Rio de Janeiro from June 25 to 27. The Brazilian Navy intends to acquire four modern and highly skilled warships. BAE Systems' proposal shows its warship design, engineering capability and expertise in combat systems, along with its experience working with partners and logistics chain in global markets, to provide a tailored solution to meet the naval and industrial plants in Brazil.

BAE Systems' Type 31e design offers a highly capable multi-mission warship with the flexibility to handle a wide range of warfare functions. Using a flexible Mission Bay that can be quickly reconfigured, enabled to perform policing operations, disaster relief, maritime interdiction, counter-piracy, and joint task force operations. BAE Systems' Type 31e design was adaptable to be equipped with some of the most modern and effective weapon systems available, including the only operationally proven Sea Ceptor solution, integrated with BAE Systems DNA Combat Management System (2) and the radar 3D Artisan. It was able to operate independently for significant periods and as part of a task group, offering tremendous value by bringing together allied maritime nations.

GRSE presented its concept to participate in the tender for the construction of Tamandare Corvettes for the Brazilian fleet. This was reported on 02 July 2018, reported Jane's with reference to the press service of the enterprise. To participate in the competition, the company based in Calcutta, formed a consortium with the Israeli Elbit Systems Ltd , supplying combat systems, and the Brazilian Sinergy Group Corporate, owning the EISA shipyard.

The GRSE proposal was a modified version of the "Kamorta" class corvette adopted by the Indian fleet. The length of the ship will be 109 meters, displacement - 2800 tons, maximum speed - 25 knots. Crew - 136 people. The Corvette will receive a combat management system from Elbit , the means of electronic warfare and communications of the French Thales , weapons and navigation equipment from the Italian group Leonardo , as well as the Exocet and Aster 30 missiles from MBDA.

GRSE intended to be responsible for the design and technical support, including the modernization of the Brazilian shipyard, as well as to provide overall management of the production program. "This plan involves using as much Brazilian resources as possible in the construction of the corvettes," a Jane's source said.

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