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Brazil Navy opens bidding for decommissioned carrier Sao Paulo


The Brazilian Navy announced on Sept. 16 that it was launching the bidding process for the sale of its recently retired Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier São Paulo.


Brazil Opens Bidding For Decommissioned Carrier Sao Paulo 925 002 Carrier São Paulo at Sea (Picture source: Brazilian Navy)


The Brazilian Navy acquired the São Paulo, then known in French service as the carrier Foch, in 2000 as a replacement for its Colossus-class carrier Minas Gerais which had been in service through multiple modernization cycles since 1944. The Foch entered French naval service in 1960 and remained active until its sale in 2000, with its sister ship the Clemenceau having been decommissioned some years prior In 1997.

The Brazilian Navy decommissioned the São Paulo in 2017 after seven years of controversial service in which the vessel was frequently relegated inoperable by maintenance requirements and emerging structural problems.

Although the Brazilian Navy is now in the midst of a major surface fleet modernization program, financial considerations and questions over the São Paulo's practical utility have slowed discussions regarding the acquisition of a new aircraft carrier. This is particularly the case given that the Navy's recently acquired amphibious assault ship Atlantico appears poised to capably fulfil much of the same strategic function as that of a traditional carrier. The minimum bidding price for the retired São Paulo is set at $5.3 million.

The Minas Geraes class spelt Minas Gerais in some sources, consisted of two battleships built for the Brazilian Navy in the early twentieth century. Named Minas Geraes and São Paulo, the ships were intended to be Brazil's first step towards becoming an international power, and they consequently initiated a South American naval arms race.