Brazilian aircraft carrier goes on sale for $ 1.275 million

Purchased from France, the vessel was operated by the Brazilian Navy between 2000 and 2017
The aircraft carrier Sao Paulo docked in Rio de Janeiro, where it stayed for much of his career in Brazil (Alexandre Galante)

The Brazilian Ministry of Defense announced on Monday the opening of the bidding process to sell the aircraft carrier Sao Paulo for a minimum bid of about $ 1.275 million.

Largest military vessel that served with the Brazilian flag, the Sao Paulo aircraft carrier was acquired by the Navy in 2000, bought from France for $ 12 million during the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The ship was the replacement for the aircraft carrier Minas Gerais, purchased from the United Kingdom and which operated in Brazil between 1960 and 2001, and was later sold as scrap.

While still active, Sao Paulo was the oldest aircraft carrier in the world. The vessel was launched in 1960 and served with the French navy under the name FS Foch from 1963 until 2000. Under French identity, the 32,800-ton, 265-meter-long vessel served on combat fronts in Africa. , Middle East and Europe.

With the Brazilian Navy, however, the vessel had a short and rather troubled career, marked by a number of mechanical problems and accidents. Because of these mishaps, the ship spent more time standing still than sailing. In February 2017, after giving up on upgrading the aircraft carrier, the naval command decided to permanently disable Sao Paulo.

According to data from the Brazilian navy, Sao Paulo spent a total of 206 days at sea, sailed 54,024.6 miles (85,334 km), and performed 566 aircraft launch by catapult. The main aircraft operated on the vessel was the AF-1 naval fighter, a national designation for the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, now operated from ground bases.

AF-1 fighters on NAe Sao Paulo flight deck (Brazilian Navy)

Aircraft carrier can become a museum

The Sao Paulo Institute | Foch, formed by a group of Brazilian and French enthusiasts and former military personnel, is one of the biggest interested in acquiring the Sao Paulo aircraft carrier. The purpose of the organization is to transform the vessel into a floating museum.

In contact with Airway, Emerson Miura, the institute’s representative, confirmed that the group will start meetings to discuss the auction, but it is too early to release a definition. “The aircraft carrier divestment process is due to be completed by the end of this year. There is still plenty of time to work calmly. ”

Honoring the name of the aircraft carrier Sao Paulo (the most populous and richest state in Brazil), the organization’s plan is to transfer the boat to the port of Santos. The auction will be held on September 27th.

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