Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brazil, 2 new Aircraft carriers in sight ?

In early 2011 we published 2 news related to the Brazilian intention to build a new aircraft carrier. Then we hinted that the aircraft carrier design presented by DCNS at Euronaval 2010 was most probably an answer to a  Brazilian request rather than to a French one.

2 days ago, French defense journalist Jean Guisnel published an article confirming that Brazil is indeed seeking an industrial partnership in order to build 2 CATOBAR aircraft carriers. Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim would have tackled the subjet when he came to France on October 18 (19 ?). According to Jean Guisnel article, the Brazilian decision would be expected in 12 or 18 months.

This is of course a very important news as the aircraft selected for those carriers will most probably be the same as the FX-2 winner. If so, this is an advantage for the Rafale and the F/A-18E as they both are carrier capable.


  1. The 'Sea Gripen' concept can't be ruled out as well. For one, it will be based on the most affordable fighter in the F-X2 competition, so Brazil will only need to pay for its navalisation. Which also is an opportunity for industry. And it has plenty of time since the first new carrier won't be due for at least 7-8 years going by the timelines indicated in this article. They can use the Sao Paulo for test launches.

    It really depends on the size of the proposed carriers-if it will be small (35,000K or less), I'd say the Sea Gripen has a more than healthy chance.

  2. Jean Guisnel article in English:

  3. The way I see it, Brazil should divide it. Let the FX-2 go to the Gripen E/F and then place an order for the Rafale M or the Super Hornet for its future carrier operations. Let's face it, the Sea Gripen hasn't been tested, whilst the F/A-18E/F and Rafale M has got loads of naval experience.

    The Super Gripen / Super Hornet could be a good mix as they share the same engines and are able to use the same type of weaponry (atleast to some extent). That's the bad part about the Rafale, it requires the user to more or less adapt to its weaponry.

    So I'm afraid that a Gripen NG (land) and a Rafale M (sea) being used side by side in Brazil would be a bit of an impossible dream. There's just too much difference in the systems. Different engines, different training-systems, different weapon systems (apart from the Meteor which still won't be the same because Dassault needs a specialized version of it) and different flight systems.

    On the other hand...

    Brazil already operate french Mirage 2000 which means they'll probably have MICA's and other french weapon-systems there. That boosts Dassaults chances a bit.

    And Brazil also has 4 different combat jets (F-5, AMX, A-4 and M-2000) which probably means they won't have problems with operating different flight systems in the future either.

  4. The F-5 will hang up their boots as the new (FX2 fighters) are being inducted. And the Mirage-2000 fleet is pretty small to offer any meaningful logistical savings-being the Mirage-2000C variant, I am not sure it even carries the MICA-RF version. So the Rafale can't really count on savings from a such a small fleet.

    Again my point about the Sea Gripen is this-it's a light fighter suited for smaller size carriers and Brazil has lot of time on its hands to work on its development (which also guarantees work for Embraer and others).