Brazil suspends auction of decommissioned aircraft carrier

NAe São Paulo at sea (Photo: Brazilian Navy)
NAe São Paulo at sea (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

The Brazilian government has suspended the auction of the aircraft carrier NAe São Paulo, which has been in lay-up since it was decommissioned from Brazilian Navy service in November 2018.

The ship was originally slated to be sold to an EU-approved recycling facility upon completion of a tender launched in December 2019.

The auction was initially postponed in early 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was declared suspended only recently with no date yet being given on when it would resume.

The government has not disclosed its reasons for the suspension.

Originally built for the French Navy in the late 1950s as the Clemenceau-class carrier FS Foch, São Paulo had served under the Brazilian flag for 18 years beginning in 2000.

The ship was beset by numerous maintenance problems despite a series of upgrades following its acquisition by Brazil. One final modernisation programme had been planned for 2017 but was ultimately abandoned due to cost concerns.

Around 900 tonnes of asbestos and heavy metals are still on board the carrier.

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