NAe[a] São Paulo (pennant number A12) was a Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier in service with the Brazilian Navy. São Paulo was first commissioned in 1963 by the French Navy as Foch and was transferred in 2000 to Brazil, where she became the new flagship of the Brazilian Navy. IHS Jane's reported that during its career with the Brazilian Navy, São Paulo suffered from serviceability issues and never managed to operate for more than three months at a time without the need for repairs and maintenance. On 14 February 2017, the navy announced the ship's demobilisation and subsequent decommissioning.
|Laid down:||15 November 1957|
|Launched:||23 July 1960|
|Commissioned:||15 July 1963|
|Decommissioned:||15 November 2000|
|Identification:||Pennant number: R99|
|Fate:||Sold to the Brazilian Navy|
|Namesake:||State of São Paulo|
|Launched:||1960 by France|
|Commissioned:||15 November 2000|
|Decommissioned:||22 November 2018|
|Out of service:||14 February 2017|
|Struck:||22 November 2018|
|Notes:||see Foch (R99) for prior history|
|Class and type:||Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier|
|Length:||265 m (869 ft 5 in)|
|Beam:||31.7 m (104 ft 0 in)|
|Draught:||8.60 m (28 ft 3 in)|
|Propulsion:||6 Indret boilers, 4 steam turbines producing 126,000 hp (94,000 kW), 2 propellers|
|Speed:||32 knots (59 km/h)|
|Range:||7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
|Complement:||1,338 (1,920 including the air group). 984 if only helicopters are carried.|
|Electronic warfare |
|Armament:||four 100 mm turrets, two SACP Crotale EDIR systems, five 12.7 mm machine guns, 4 dual Simbad launchers|
|Aircraft carried:||39 aircraft: 22 jets and 17 helicopters. A-4KU Skyhawks, AS 532 SC Cougars, HB 350 & HB.355 Ecureuils, and SH-3 Sea Kings|
The aircraft carrier São Paulo was built in France between 1957 and 1960, and served in the French Navy as Foch. In September 2000, she was purchased by Brazil for US$30 million — no aircraft were included in the price — to replace the aged World War II-era carrier Minas Gerais, which had been in commission for over 40 years. Brazil had previously approached other countries, such as Spain, who wanted to construct a US$500 million carrier for Brazil, about the acquisition of a carrier. The government had already purchased a flotilla of 23 used A-4 Skyhawk fighter planes from Kuwait for $70 million; these planes, along with existing helicopters already in the national defense inventory, were to compose the São Paulo fighter-bomber group. These A-4s (designated AF-1) are capable of carrying armament including rockets, free-fall bombs, and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
The Clemenceau-class aircraft carriers, of which São Paulo is the last surviving member, are of conventional CATOBAR design. The flight deck is 265.5 metres (871 ft) long by 29.5 metres (97 ft) wide; the landing area is angled at 8 degrees off of the ship's axis. The forward aircraft elevator is to starboard, and the rear elevator is positioned on the deck edge to save hangar space. The forward of two 52-metre (171 ft) catapults is on the bow to port; the second catapult is farther back on the angled landing deck. The hangar deck dimensions are 152 metres (499 ft) by 22 to 24 metres (72 to 79 ft) with 7 metres (23 ft) overhead.
In September 2000, São Paulo was purchased while still operational, an unusual process for such a large ship. She was received by the Brazilian Navy and was incorporated into the Brazilian Navy on 15 November 2000. The incorporation of São Paulo and the AF-1 fighter group marked the realization of Brazil's long-held goal of being able to conduct aerial defense of its naval forces with fixed-wing aircraft.
The transfer of the aircraft carrier São Paulo to the Operative Sector of the Navy adds to our naval power an important magnification in its ability of defense of the Brazilian interests at sea. A country as ours, possessing an extensive coast, with more than 7,000 kilometers of coast, requires a naval power compatible with its stature in the international scene. Today, as before, Brazil is concerned about implementing concrete measures that offer the nation the guarantee of respect to its sovereignty. We are and we will always be a nation that fights for peace, however, that does not mean being able to do without modern Armed Forces, enabled and endowed with adequate dissuasive potential. Few countries, even today, have the capacity to operate with efficiency in the high seas. It is important that Brazil continues to be one of them."
Since her construction, São Paulo has received multiple upgrades, leaving her with a diverse range of technologies.
In her first three years of service as São Paulo, the ship completed several missions, some in foreign waters, particularly Operations ARAEX, PASSEX, and TEMPEREX, which is used annually to qualify and train the Argentine Navy's Super Étendards and S-2T Turbo Trackers.
Toward the end of its commissioned life, São Paulo mainly served to train pilots to fly carrier operations. She was actively used for the qualification and re-qualification of rotary and fixed-wing pilots (with about 500 catapult launches), and she was used during the first Brazilian exercises to practice carrier-based attack missions.
On 17 May 2004, an explosion took place in the steam network of the engine room. The explosion initially killed one crew member and injured ten others. All casualties were airlifted by helicopter to the Marcilio Dias Naval Hospital, Rio de Janeiro. Two of the injured crew later died in hospital from their injuries. Cause of the explosion was a rupture in the steam pipeline. After this accident, the Navy decided to undertake an extensive overhaul to repair and modernize the ship.
During 2005–10, São Paulo underwent extensive modernization. The upgrade included inspection and repair of the steam turbines; maintenance of the surface condensers; retubing of boilers; repair of two high-pressure compressors; revision of the AC electrical generator; purchase of spare parts; maintenance of pumps, valves, and structural items; addition of two API oil-water separators; installation of two water cooling units; upgrade of the chemical oxygen generator; repair and treatment of oil tanks; substitution of the Naval Tactical Data System; installation of a closed-circuit television system; installation of an IFF transponder; installation of a MAGE system (ESM); flight deck inspection, repair, and painting; upgrade of the Optical Landing System processing unit; and revision of the aircraft catapults. The upgrade was completed in July 2009, and the São Paulo was initially due to be fully operational by August 2010.
Twelve Brazilian Navy A-4 Skyhawks were also scheduled to be upgraded by Embraer at a cost of $140 million. The upgrade was similar to the ones done for the AMX and F-5EM aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force. The program included restoring the aircraft and their current systems, as well as implementing new avionics, radar (specifically the Elta 2032 radar system), power production, and autonomous oxygen generating systems. Possible weapons to be included in the upgrade were MAA-1B, Python 4, and Derby AAMS.
According to an article in the October 2010 issue of Air Forces Monthly, it has been confirmed that Brazil has purchased ex-Australian and ex-Uruguayan C-1 Trader airframes, for conversion into AEW planes and Tanker aircraft. All of the planes were to be upgraded to S-2T Turbo Tracker configuration with Honeywell TPE 331-14GR engines. The purchase included nine airframes, of which two were for tanker conversion to refuel the AF-1 Skyhawks, and three were for AEW. The rest were purchased as for spares or for cargo duties. The AEW radar requirement was to have a range of 250 miles at 25,000 feet. Operational lifespan for the airframes was to be 10 years. They were expected to be ready in 2011 and 2012.
São Paulo's SH-3 helicopter fleet was to be replaced by six S-70B Seahawk helicopters. They were purchased in 2008, upgraded, and refurbished for delivery. The helicopters and a package of engines and support equipment were scheduled for delivery in 2009.
At the end of 2010, sea trials began, and as of 2011 São Paulo had been evaluated by the CIASA (Inspection Commission and Training Advisory).
São Paulo was expected to rejoin the fleet in late 2013, but suffered another major fire in 2012. As of September 2016, she continued to undergo repairs; the commander of the Brazilian Navy, Admiral Eduardo Leal Ferreira, said plans were in place to renew the carrier's propulsion system. The ship's catapult was also reported to have problems. On 14 February 2017, the Navy announced the ship would be demobilised and subsequently decommissioned, citing the uneconomical cost of further repairs. The Brazilian Navy formally decommissioned the aircraft carrier NAe São Paulo on 22 November 2018.
An anti-submarine warfare carrier (ASW carrier) (US hull classification symbol CVS) is a type of small aircraft carrier whose primary role is as the nucleus of an anti-submarine warfare hunter-killer group. This type of ship came into existence during the Cold War as a development of the escort carriers used in the ASW role in the North Atlantic during World War II.Argentina–Brazil relations
Argentina and Brazil's relationship are both close and historical, and encompasses all possible dimensions: economy, trade, culture, education and tourism. From war and rivalry to friendship and alliance, this complex relationship has spanned more than two centuries.
After achieving independence from the Iberian crowns in the early nineteenth century, Argentina and Brazil inherited a series of unresolved territorial disputes from their colonial powers. The most serious breach in the relationship was the Cisplatine War (1825–1828), led by the Brazilian invasion and annexation of the Banda Oriental. Despite the numerous periods of muted hostility, the Argentine–Brazilian relationship was not defined by open hostility for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There was competition on many levels, and their respective defense policies reflected mutual suspicion, but the Brazilian economic rise in the 1980s led to the accommodation of Argentina as a secondary regional power and increasing cooperation.With the creation of the Brazilian–Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials in 1991, the two countries turned their nuclear competition into cooperation through mutual confidence. A high volume of trade and migration between Argentina and Brazil has generated closer ties, especially after the implementation of Mercosur in 1991. Today, the strategic relationship between Argentina and Brazil is considered to be "at the highest point in history". Argentine foreign policy has given special emphasis in "deepening the strategic alliance with Brazil in all its aspects". Likewise, Argentina has been "an absolute priority" for Brazilian foreign policy.Argentine Naval Aviation
The Argentine Naval Aviation (Spanish: Comando de la Aviación Naval Argentina, COAN) is the naval aviation branch of the Argentine Navy and one of its four operational commands. Argentina, along with Brazil is one of two South American countries to have operated two aircraft carriers
The acronym CANA is often used in English language bibliographies, but is not correct Spanish usage.Brazilian Naval Aviation
Brazilian Naval Aviation (Portuguese: Aviação Naval Brasileira; AvN) is the air arm of the Brazilian Navy operating from ships including the aircraft carrier São Paulo and from shore installations.Brazilian aircraft carrier Minas Gerais
NAeL Minas Gerais (pennant number A 11) was a Colossus-class aircraft carrier operated by the Marinha do Brasil (MB, Brazilian Navy) from 1960 until 2001. The ship was laid down for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy during World War II as HMS Vengeance, but was completed only shortly before the war's end, and did not see combat. After stints as a training vessel and Arctic research ship, the carrier was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy from 1952 to 1955. She was returned to the British, who sold her to Brazil in 1956.
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Minas Gerais remained in service until 2001, when she was replaced by NAe São Paulo. At the time of her decommissioning, she was the oldest operational aircraft carrier in the world, and the last operational unit of the World War II Light Fleet design. Despite attempts to preserve the carrier as a museum ship, and after several failed attempts to auction the ship off (including a listing on eBay), Minas Gerais was sold for scrap in 2004 and taken to Alang for breaking up.Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil
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Green-water navy is terminology created to describe a naval force that is designed to operate in its nation's littoral zones and has the competency to operate in the open oceans of its surrounding region. It is a relatively new term, and has been created to better distinguish, and add nuance, between two long-standing descriptors: blue-water navy and brown-water navy.
It is a non-doctrinal naval term used in different ways. It originates with the United States Navy, who use it to refer to the portion of their fleet that specializes in offensive operations in coastal waters. Nowadays such ships rely on stealth or speed to avoid destruction by shore batteries or land-based aircraft.
The US Navy has also used the term to refer to the first phase of the expansion of China's navy into a full blue-water navy. Subsequently, other authors have applied it to other national navies that can project power locally, but cannot sustain operations at range without the help of other countries. Such navies typically have amphibious ships and sometimes small aircraft carriers, which can be escorted by destroyers and frigates with some logistical support from tankers and other auxiliaries.Grumman S-2 Tracker
The Grumman S-2 Tracker (S2F prior to 1962) was the first purpose-built, single airframe anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to enter service with the United States Navy. Designed and initially built by Grumman, the Tracker was of conventional design — propeller-driven with twin radial engines, a high wing that could be folded for storage on aircraft carriers, and tricycle undercarriage. The type was exported to a number of navies around the world. Introduced in 1952, the Tracker and its E-1 Tracer derivative saw service in the U.S. Navy until the mid-1970s, and its C-1 Trader derivative until the mid-1980s, with a few aircraft remaining in service with other air arms into the 21st century. Argentina and Brazil are the last countries to still use the Tracker.Timeline for aircraft carrier service
Aircraft carriers have their origins during the days of World War I. The earliest experiments consisted of fitting temporary "flying off" platforms to the gun turrets of the warships of several nations, notably the United States and the United Kingdom. The first ship to be modified with a permanent flight deck was the battlecruiser HMS Furious, which initially had a single flying-off deck forward of the original superstructure. Subsequently, she was modified with a separate "landing on" deck aft and later with a full flush deck. Other ships, often liners, were modified to have full flush flight decks, HMS Argus being the first to have such modification begun. Those first faltering steps gave little indication of just how important the aircraft carrier was to prove to be. During the inter-war years (between the World Wars), Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States built up significant carrier fleets so that by the beginning of World War II, they had 18 carriers between them. The 1940 Battle of Taranto and the 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor in retrospect showed the world that the aircraft carrier was to be the most important ship in the modern fleet. Today, aircraft carriers are the capital ships of the navies they serve in, and in the case of modern US "supercarriers", they embark an airgroup that is effectively a small air force.
This timeline is an attempt to provide a unified chronology of key dates[I] in carrier service. Aircraft carriers[II] often serve their navies for many decades and this chronology[III] enables the reader to track the progress of the carrier as it has developed alongside the evolution of aircraft for nearly a hundred years.