Brazilian aircraft carrier São Paulo (A12)
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|Name:||São Paulo (A12)|
|Namesake:||State of São Paulo|
|Launched:||1959 by France|
|Commissioned:||15 November 2000|
|Status:||Undergoing an extensive upgrade. Scheduled to be operational by 2011.1|
|Notes:||see Foch (R 99) for prior history|
|Class & type:||Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier|
32,800 tonnes (full load)
|Length:||265 m (869 ft)|
|Beam:||31.7 m (104 ft)|
|Draught:||8.60 m (28.2 ft)|
|Propulsion:||6 Indret boilers, 4 steam turbines producing 126,000 hp, 2 propellers|
|Speed:||32 knots (59 km/h)|
|Range:||7,500 nautical miles (13,900 km) at 18 knots|
|Complement:||1,338 men (1,920 including the air group). 984 men if only helicopters are carried.|
DRBV-23B air sentry radar
|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.2 Composed of A-4KU Skyhawks, AS 532 SC Cougars, HB 350 & HB.355 Ecureuils, and SH-3 Sea Kings|
NAe3 São Paulo (A12) is a Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier currently in service with the Brazilian Navy. The São Paulo was first commissioned in 1963 by the French Navy as the Foch and was then transferred to Brazil in 2000 where she became the new flagship of the Brazilian Navy.
The aircraft carrier São Paulo was constructed in France between 1957 and 1960, and served in the French Navy as the Foch. In September 2000, she was purchased by Brazil to replace the aged World War II-era carrier Minas Gerais (which had been in commission for over 40 years) for US$12 million, no aircraft included. The government of Brazil had already purchased a flotilla of used A-4 Skyhawk fighters from Kuwait for $70 million which, together with the existing helicopters already in the national defense inventory, were to compose the fighter-bomber group of São Paulo. These A-4s (designated AF-1) are capable of carrying armament including rockets, free-fall bombs and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
The São Paulo was purchased while still operational, which was an unusual process for such a large ship. She was received by the Brazilian Navy and was incorporated into the Brazilian Navy on November 15, 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, the São Paulo has received multiple upgrades, leaving her with a diverse range of technologies. In her current form, she is expected to remain effective in her role for the foreseeable future, though further modernization efforts are expected as she is converted into a combat ready vessel.
In the first three years of service as the São Paulo, the ship completed several missions, some in foreign waters, particularly Operations ARAEX,5 PASSEX, and TEMPEREX,6 which is used annually to qualify and train Super Etendards and S-2T Turbo Trackers of the Argentine Navy.7
The São Paulo currently serves mainly to train pilots to fly carrier operations. She is actively used for the qualification and re-qualification of rotary and fixed-wing pilots (with about 500 catapult launches)clarification needed and the first Brazilian exercises to practice carrier-based attack missions.8
During 2005-2010, the São Paulo underwent an extensive modernization program.8 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, purchase 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 IFF transponder, installation of MAGE system (ESM), flight deck inspection, repair, and painting, upgrade of the Optical Landing System processing unit, and revision of the aircraft catapults.9 The upgrade was completed in July 2009, and the São Paulo was initially due to be fully operational by August 2010.1
Twelve Brazilian Navy A-4 Skyhawks are also scheduled to be upgraded by Embraer at a cost of $140 million.10 The upgrade will be similar to the ones done for the AMX and F-5EM aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force. The program includes 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 are MAA-1B, Python 4, and Derby AAMS.
According to an article in the October 2010 issue of Air Forces Monthlyclarification neededpage needed, it has been confirmed that Brazil has purchased EX-USN C-1 Trader airframes, ex-Australian and ex-Uruguayan airframes for conversion into AEW planes and Tanker aircraft. All the planes are to be upgraded to S-2T Turbo Tracker configuration with Honeywell TPE 331-14GR engines. The purchase includes 9 airframes, 2 for tanker conversion to refuel the AF-1 Skyhawks, and 3 for AEW. The rest will be for spares or cargo duties. The AEW radar requirement is to have a range of 250 miles at 25,000 feet. Operational lifespan for the airframes is to be 10 years. They were expected to be ready in 2011 and 2012.12
The São Paulo's SH-3 helicopter fleet is 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 2009.13
At the end of 2010, sea trials began, and as of 2011 the São Paulo has been evaluated by the CIASA (Inspection Commission and Training Advisory). She is expected to rejoin the fleet in late 2013.citation needed
São Paulo (A12), foreground, and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) during a combined training exercise in June 2004
The São Paulo in Rio de Janeiro in 2007
Former president Lula and wife Marisa Letícia aboard the NAe São Paulo
Argentine Navy Turbo Tracker operating on São Paulo
- Porta-aviões São Paulo volta à ativa após 4 anos em reforma O Estado de São Paulo. Retrieved on 2009-11-25. (Portuguese)
- O DIA ONLINE - RIO - O gigante dos mares voltou após quatro anos parado
- Navio-Aeródromo, "Aircraft carrier" (lit: "Airfield-Ship").
- Discurso do Presidente da República, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, na cerimônia de transferência de subordinação do navio-aeródromo "São Paulo" para o setor operativo da marinha do Brasildead link Radiobrás. Retrieved on 2009-06-23. (Portuguese)
- São Paulo GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
- NAe São Paulo – A 12dead link Poder Naval. Retrieved on 2009-06-23. (Portuguese)
- combined exercise ARAEX
- A segunda docagem do NAe São Paulo (in Portuguese), BR: Alide, retrieved 2009-06-24dead link. (Portuguese)
- A12 São Paulo: Modernização (in Portuguese), BR: Defesa, retrieved 2009‐6‐23dead link.
- Embraer to Modernize Brazilian Navy AF-1 and AF-1A Jets, Reuters, 2009‐4‐14, retrieved 2009-04-14.
- Compra dos dois S‐2 para a aviação naval prestes a ser concluída, BR: Alide.dead link Alide. Retrieved on 2010-07-20. (Portuguese)
- Brazilian navy buys Traders, Flight Global, 2010‐8‐23.
- FMS: Brazil Requests S-70 Helicopters and Engines, Deagel, retrieved 2006-09-27.
- Navio Aeródromo São Paulo – A 12dead link Poder Naval. Retrieved on 2009-06-24. (Portuguese)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: NAe São Paulo|
- Machtres.com information on NAe São Paulodead link
- NAe São Paulo on Google Maps, anchored in Rio de Janeiro
- The brazilian navy 'new' aircraft-carrier – Poder Naval OnLinedead link