September 19, 2010
BAE Systems seeks role in Brazilian Navy shipbuilding
The U.K. and Brazil have signed a Defense Cooperation Treaty that could pave the way for BAE Systems to play a prominent role in Brazil's plans to rebuild its Navy.
According to Dean McCumiskey, BAE Systems' Managing Director for the West, the U.K.defense contractor is offering "an assured warship procurement package to Brazil" that is based on proven ship designs and includes an invitation to become an international partner in a new BAE Global Combat Ship program.
"The ships we develop will be built at a partner shipyard in Brazil, with maximum content sourced from the wider Brazilian industry," said Mr. McCumiskey. "This will help to sustain jobs and support the development of skills and high-end technology transfer between the two countries."
The BAE offer, presented to Brazilian government officials last week, is 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.
The BAE Global Combat Ship program will deliver what is described as 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 frigate for the U.K. 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," says BAE. "The resulting rationalized design, build and procurement process will also reduce the cost per ship and deliver substantial through-life savings to both Brazil and the U.K. in training, maintenance and support."
In the near term, BAE Systems believes that its 90 m Ocean Patrol Vessel will prove an attractive option for 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 River Class vessels in use with by the U.K. 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 BAE offer to Brazil 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 U.K. Royal Navy.