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Águas Azuis, a joint venture created by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense & Security and Atech, signed a contract on 5 March with Emgepron, an independent state-owned company with links to Brazilian Navy Command, for the construction of four TAMANDARÉ-class corvettes for the Navy. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2025 and 2028.

Construction will take place entirely in Brazil, in Itajaí (Santa Catarina State), and is expected to feature local content rates of over 30% for the first vessel and 40% for the others. thyssenkrupp will provide its proven MEKO-class platform, already in operation in 15 countries as the basis for the new vessel. Embraer will integrate sensors and weaponry into the combat system, also bringing to the programme its 50 years’ experience in systems technology solutions and in-service support.

Atech, an Embraer Group company, will supply the Combat Management System (CMS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS, from L3 MAPPS). The company will also be the recipient of technology transfer from Atlas Elektronik, a thyssenkrupp Marine Systems subsidiary that produces the CMS and sonar systems.

Referring to the programme as an “important milestone in the history of Brazil’s naval defence,” Dr Rolf Wirtz, CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, looked back at “the great achievements we had since the construction of [the] TUPI-class submarines in [the] 1980s; [the new programme] is a recognition of the technological excellence, reliability and longevity solutions we have offered for almost two centuries. The TAMANDARÉ-class programme will strengthen our ties by transferring technology and generating highly qualified jobs for the country.”

The partnership validates our efforts to expand our defence and security portfolio beyond the aeronautical segment. Over the past few years, we have acquired expertise in developing and integrating complex systems, among others, in order to qualify Embraer to meet the needs of the Brazilian Navy, further strengthening our position as a strategic partner of the Brazilian State,” added Embraer Defense & Security President and CEO, Jackson Schneider.

In addition to construction, the contract includes sustained transfer of technology in naval engineering for shipbuilding and for the manufacture of combat and platform management systems, as well as integrated logistical support and lifecycle management.

The TAMANDARÉ-class programme has the potential to generate high quality direct and indirect job opportunities. It also provides for a solid national partnership model, with proven abilities to transfer technology and qualify local labour, which guarantees the development of future strategic defence projects in Brazil. The naval alliance between thyssenkrupp and Embraer thus also enables the creation of a base for Brazilian exports of naval defence products.

An artist’s impression of the TAMANDARÉ-class corvette now entering construction for the Brazilian Navy. (Image via Embraer)

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