Aircraft carrier ‘São Paulo’ leaves Brazil to be scrapped in Turkey

Largest vessel ever operated by the Brazilian Navy was acquired from France, where it served as the Clemenceau-class aircraft carrier FS Foch

The aircraft carrier ‘São Paulo’, deactivated by the Brazilian Navy in 2018, began its journey to Turkey on Thursday, according to AIRWAY.

The vessel, already without equipment, is being transported by the Dutch tug Alp Centre, which left the ‘Arsenal da Marinha’ in Rio de Janeiro.

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The hull of the aircraft carrier, originally built by France and named FS Foch, was bought in March 2021 for around $2 million by Turkish shipyard Sok Denizcilikve Tic, which specializes in dismantling large decommissioned vessels.

The ship will be dismantled at facilities in the Aliağa region of the Aegean Sea, and the remains of the boat will be resold as scrap. The journey to the Turkish port should take around a month.

The Foch was acquired by the Brazilian Navy in 2000 as a replacement for the ‘Minas Gerais’, a refurbished British Colossus-class aircraft carrier.

The French Navy built two Clemenceau-class aircraft carriers in the 1960s, the Clemenceau, decommissioned in 2008, and the Foch, withdrawn from service after the incorporation of the Charles de Gaulle, a larger, nuclear-powered vessel.

France even operated the Dassault Rafale M fighter jets on the Foch, before decommissioning it. In the Brazilian Navy, however, the aircraft carrier had as naval aircraft the A-4 Skyhawk acquired from Kuwait.

After decommissioning it, the Navy has kept the fighters on a land base as the new flagship, the ‘Atlantico’, an originally helicopter carrier, lacks catapults and braking hooks.

Brazilian Navy Sao Paulo aircraft carrier (Rob Schleiffert)
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