Germany's thyssenkrupp buys shipyard to build frigates in Brazil

The thyssenkrupp Marine Systems Group of Germany announced Wednesday that it has signed a contract to acquire the Brazilian shipyard Oceana, in which it will initially build the four frigates for the Brazilian Navy envisaged in a tender that was awarded this year.

The German group, which did not disclose the value of the business, explained in a statement that the purchase only depends on the authorization of the regulatory authorities in Brazil and the entry into force of the contract it signed with the government to build the frigates.

The shipyard is located in Itajaí, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, and belongs to the company Aliança SA, a subsidiary of the CBA group, which, according to the statement, is a leader in the construction of vessels to support oil exploitation operations in Aguas Marinas and one of the largest employers of qualified maritime professionals in Brazil.

thyssenkrupp Marine System leads the "Aguas Azules" consortium, which also includes Brazil's Embraer and Atech, which last March signed a contract for about $ 1.9 billion to build four new and modern war frigates for Brazil.

The consortium will be responsible for the development and construction of the so-called "Tamandaré Class" ships, which the Navy initially conceived as escort corvettes but, given the modifications negotiated with the contractors, which increased the displacement of the vessels from 2,500 to 3,500 tons , led the Government to choose frigates, more appropriate for their needs.

This contract was the first for the acquisition of large-scale military vessels signed by the government of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who assumed the Presidency in January 2019 with the promise of modernizing the Brazilian Armed Forces.

The contract signed this Wednesday "creates the initial basis for the construction of the Tamandaré Class frigates for the Brazilian Navy, as well as for further growth of the company in the country," according to the thyssenkrupp Marine Systems statement.

"Even in difficult times like these, we remain determined and remain strongly at the side of our customers. With Oceana we will have an excellent infrastructure for the construction of the most modern frigate in the country," said thyssenkrupp Marine Systems President Rolf Wirtz, quoted in the statement.

The executive said that the acquisition demonstrates the group's commitment to Brazil and that it constitutes "an important economic factor especially today."

According to Wirtz, the shipyard will also allow thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to take orders for vessels from other clients not only from Brazil but also from other South American countries.

According to the statement, Oceana was created in 2013 to manufacture high-quality, high-tech vessels to support the oil industry and is "ideal for large-scale projects."

"That means that ships of high national added value can be built in Brazil," the note states.

The group added that in the next two years it will hire at least 800 people to build the Brazilian frigates, whose delivery is scheduled for between 2025 and 2028.

The consortium responsible for the construction of the frigates promised to assemble modern vessels based on adaptations of the German Meko A100-type corvettes, which are already operated by 15 countries, including Australia, Argentina and Portugal.

The ships will have 107.2 meters in length, 5.2 meters draft, a displacement of 3,455 tons and an economic speed of 14 knots, among other characteristics.

Embraer will be responsible for the integration of sensors and weapons to the combat system of the vessels.

Atech, a subsidiary of Embraer, will be responsible for the development of the Ship Combat Management System in association with Atlas Elektronik, a subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, which is one of the largest shipbuilders in the world.


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