Germany’s TKMS Buys Brazilian Shipyard for Local Frigate Programme

Defence Industry

Cologne: In a boost to German defence industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will buy the Oceana shipyard in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina to manufacture Tamandaré-class frigates for Brazil’s Navy, the company announced this week.

The German vendor heads the Águas Azuis consortium, which is building an initial set of four ships based on its MEKO vessel design. The industry team also includes Embraer Defence and Security as well as its subsidiary Atech. TKMS, based in Kiel, Germany, has no production facilities for surface ships, which means the company must make arrangements for local production when selling its flagship vessel design overseas.

The pick of the Oceana yard, which specialises in offshore support vessels and is owned by CBO Group of Rio de Janeiro, was the result of the TKMS’ own economic and logistical analyses and turned out to be an “ideal option,” according to a spokesman.

An agreement by Lürssen and German Naval Yards Kiel has dislodged a major legal roadblock in the multibillion-dollar programme to build the large frigate-type vessels for the Navy.

The acquisition is subject to approval by Brazilian antitrust authorities, and it is contingent on the frigate contract going into effect sometime in the “middle of the year,” the statement read.

The Águas Azuis consortium aims to deliver the Tamandaré-class frigates between 2025 and 2028. The companies aim to train 800 local employees for the job. “This means that ships with a very high domestic added value can be built in Brazil,” the company said.

Embraer is slated to be the systems integrator for weapons and sensors on the new ships. Atech, with help from TKMS subsidiary Atlas Elektronik, will supply the combat management system.