The Brazilian Ministry of Defence has launched a tender for the sale of the aircraft carrier NAe São Paulo, which was decommissioned in November of last year after nearly two decades of service.
The carrier is currently docked at the state-owned Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro shipyard and will remain there until a suitable buyer is found.
São Paulo‘s role as the Brazilian Navy’s flagship is currently being undertaken by the helicopter carrier PHM Atlantico, the former Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean.
The tender for São Paulo has a minimum bid of US$1.275 million. São Paulo Institute-Foch, an organisation established by French and Brazilian ship enthusiasts and former military personnel, has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the carrier and converting it into a floating museum but has yet to submit a bid.
São Paulo had operated from 1963 to 2000 as FS Foch, one of two Clemenceau-class carriers built for the French Navy. It was acquired by Brazil in 2000 to replace NAe Minas Gerais, an ex-Royal Navy Colossus-class light fleet carrier.
Despite having been in Brazilian service for 18 years, São Paulo reportedly spent a total of only 206 days at sea and was used primarily to train helicopter and tactical jet pilots for carrier operations. Further, the ship continually experienced maintenance problems even after the incorporation of numerous upgrades during the 2005-2010 timeframe.
The navy had begun another major modernisation programme on the carrier but ultimately abandoned the effort in 2017 after the estimated costs were deemed “uneconomical.”
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