On the back of a Defence Cooperation Agreement announced today by the UK and Brazilian Governments, BAE Systems has confirmed its commitment to Brazil and its naval re-equipment programme 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 programme.
“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 today, 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.
“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 programme 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 programme 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 believes that its 90 metre 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.
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).