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The Brazilian Navy has selected the Águas Azuis consortium, formed by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense & Security and Atech, as the preferred bidder to build four new TAMANDARE-class corvettes under the so-called CCT programme, it was announced on 28 March.

With thyssenkrupp Marine Systems leadership and naval systems expertise, the consortium companies will now form a Specific Purpose Company (SPC) for the implementation phase of the programme. The companies and their subsidiaries have built a solid national partnership with proven capability to retain technology and ensure its further development over the long term, not only for the CCT programme, but also for future strategic defence projects in Brazil.

We are very honored by the Brazilian Navy to entrust us with the mission to build the TAMANDARE corvettes class. Being part of the CCT programme reinforces our leadership position and the proven technologies we have offered to the naval defence industry around the world for almost two centuries,” commented thyssenkrupp Marine Systems CEO, Dr Rolf Wirtz. “This partnership will bring high-skilled jobs and technology to Brazil, strengthening its defence industry.”

In this consortium with thyssenkrupp Marine Systems we offer a solid national partnership model with proven capability to retain the transfer of technology, ensuring its development for future strategic defence projects in Brazil. We have always been confident and today’s result demonstrates that our proposal has truly addressed the operational needs of the Brazilian Navy,” added President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, Jackson Schneider.

Brazil’s intent with the CCT programme is to expand and modernise its fleet. The four corvettes, scheduled for delivery between 2024-2028, will provide the navy with capable escort vessels to counter possible threats, ensure the protection of maritime traffic, and control Brazilian jurisdictional waters, the so-called ‘Blue Amazon,’ totalling over 4.5 million km². The vessels will also play an important role in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid missions, in support of Brazilian diplomacy.

The programme brings tangible benefits to the Brazilian economy:

• Local content during construction will exceed 40%, including development of state-of-the-art maritime systems;

• Over 1,000 direct jobs and approx. 4,000 indirect;

• Competitive advantage to support future naval export business as well as catering for the Brazilian Navy’s future needs;

• Establishment of indigenous research and development centres;

• Development of high-tech, long-life in-service support capability.

The program calls for significant technology transfer in naval engineering for shipbuilding, combat and platform management systems.

One of the most modern shipyards in Brazil, Aliança-Oceana in Itajaí will act as the ship builder for the Águas Azuis consortium, and will be the recipient of much of the technology transfer. Part of Oceana Offshore Group, a company with more than 20 years’ experience in shipbuilding and offshore maritime operations, the shipyard occupies approx. 310,000 sq m and has the capacity to build 4-6 ships per year, applying the most innovative engineering and construction processes, with high levels of automation and cutting-edge technology. It also has facilities located in Niterói, which can serve as a logistics and services support base for the Brazilian Navy.

Atech, an Embraer Group company, will supply the Combat Management System (CMS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) for the TAMANDAREs, in cooperation with ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, a tKMS subsidiary, and L3 MAPPS. Atech has 500 engineers specialising in software and hardware development for defence applications, and has unique expertise in systems engineering and situational awareness technologies to support effective decision-making.

Embraer Defense & Security will integrate sensors and weaponry into the combat system, bringing to the program its 50 years’ experience in providing in-service support solutions.

The consortium’s proposal to the navy was based on the concept of the MEKO-class, a global reference through proven solutions in shipbuilding. Its modular design facilitates local integration and technology transfer, helping to reduce acquisition, maintenance and modernisation costs. Combining state-of-the-art technologies, innovation and robust combat capabilities, the MEKO is a true blue-water vessel, with considerable robustness and autonomy. Since 1982, 82 MEKO-class corvettes and frigates have been delivered to the navies of 14 separate nations – 37 of them having been built outside Germany. All are still in full operation, bringing to the operating services a flexible, versatile combat platform with proven life spans in excess of 40 years.

The class combines the benefits of five generations of ships thanks to its design iteration, whereby the best design characteristics of each vessel evolve into the next, ensuring that the new generations have solid, proven maturity, technology, materials and standards.

International experience of the solid, combat-proven capabilities of the MEKO-class, such as the South African Navy’s MEKO A-200SAN VALOUR-class shown here, will have played its part in the Brazilian Navy’s decision to accept a MEKO design for the new TAMANDARE-class. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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