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BAE bids for Brazil warships

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Brasilia, Brazil (UPI) Oct 28, 2010
Britain's warship builder BAE Systems has submitted a plan to sell a package of combat ships to Brazil's navy.

The move targets Brazil's designs to renew its aging fleet through a modernization program based on a full technology transfer agreement and allowing the construction of the vessels in Brazil.

Local media said the British company had laid out blueprints for five main warships, mirroring the design for the British navy's future Type 26 frigates. The company is also keen to sell five ocean patrol boats similar to an order placed for Trinidad and Tobago.

BAE Managing Director Alan Johnston said the company was waiting to "formalize" the agreement, including details of "when and where in Brazil" the Portsmouth-designed ships will be built if the deal went ahead.

The deal is vital for the company, which needs overseas work to make up for a reduction in orders by the British navy.

The company is also keen to win a lucrative support and maintenance deal to look after the Brazilian fleet.

The Daily Echo reported that BAE was poised for a "landmark move," allowing the Brazilians "to partner BAE ship designers in the normally secretive development of the new multi-role Global Combat Ship in a process known as technology transfer."

"We believe that this strategic partnership approach, combined with our proven ship designs will bring strength to the Brazilian industry and give the Brazilian navy confidence in our ability to deliver an effective, affordable solution to meet its future naval capability," Johnston was quotes saying in a company statement.

"We are in discussions regarding the naval proposal with a number of potential industry partners in Brazil, including shipyards and combat systems developers."

He didn't elaborate. Neither has the company disclosed the price of the ship deal.

Defense Talk reported that the first in the class of the ships would be built in England, with the rest in Brazil, thus driving down the costs of developing the Global Combat Ship.

BAE's unique proposal comes hot on the heels of a defense cooperation agreement between the British and Brazilian governments, which have also vowed to boost trade.

BAE has had a long-standing relationship with Brazil.

The latest proposal "builds on this legacy and is designed to meet the objectives set out in Brazil's National Strategy of Defense to enhance its indigenous industrial capability by enabling the county to develop an independent, sustainable naval shipbuilding and through-life maritime support capability," Defense Talk reported.

earlier related report
Thales mine sonars tested in Gulf
London (UPI) Oct 28, 2010 - Four British mine vessels mounted with specially designed mine-hunting sonar have been taking part in a U.S naval exercise in the Arabian Gulf.

Experts assessing the mine-hunting sonar designed by the British company Thales said their detection performance for the British navy was "world beating," Defense World reported.

The naval exercises were designed to allow the two navies to "further develop mine-hunting techniques in the warm, shallow waters of the gulf, a busy and important international maritime environment," the report said.

Already proven in more temperature waters around England, Thales' sonar being used in the exercise "have performed exceptionally well in the challenging environmental conditions of the Arabian Gulf," British navy Cmdr. David Bence said.

"With capabilities that complement each other, they provided a high probability of detection of sea mines -- from shallow to deep water -- in highly saline water with high ambient sea temperatures. They are world beaters," he said.

Participating forces from the British navy included two Hunt-class MCMVs and two Sandown-class vessels. The former has been fitted with the world's most advanced hull-mounted wideband mine-hunting sonar: the Sonar 2193.

The Sandown has been operating with the Sonar 2093, considered a successful variable-depth, multi-mode sonar.

"Widely acknowledged as one of the world leaders in MCM, the Royal Navy has both the capability and intent to conduct expeditionary MCM operations in support of wider maritime and defense objectives," said Bence, who is also commander of the U.K. Mine Counter Measure Forces. "Utilizing world-leading sonar and mine-disposal technology, the RN retains the capability to counter modern sea mines in the most challenging of environmental conditions."

During the joint naval maneuvers, Bence directed a multi-ship bilateral countermeasures task force at sea where the U.S. Navy is participating with the four USN Avenger-class ships -- the USS Ardent, USS Dexterous, USS Gladiator and USS Scout.

Thales is a global technology leader for the defense and security and the aerospace and transport markets.

The 65,000-employees strong company generated revenues of more than $19 billion in 2009, primarily as a result of its successful international footprint, with operations and ventures around the world.

Among the most ambitious projects presently considered are attempts to carry out the modernization of India's fleet of Mirage 2000 jet fighters. The program, which senior Indian officials are expected to be concluded within the coming months, is being pursued by France's D'Assault and MBDA defense companies.

Determined to bolster its military capabilities, India said recently it was planning to spend more than $30 billion in defense by 2012.

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