Brazilian aircraft carrier was auctioned for $1.9 million to turn into scrap

‘São Paulo’ (ex-Foch) was decommissioned in 2017 after the modernization project failed. Vessel spent only 206 days on missions for 17 years

After a first auction without interested parties, the Brazilian Navy managed to sell the hull of ‘São Paulo’, an aircraft carrier that was in service between 2000 and 2017. The amount collected by the government was 10.5 million reais, around $1.9 million.

Three companies had registered to bid for the 265-meter-long ship, but it was not revealed which one won in the auction, which took place on March 12.

The Brazilian government had tried to sell ‘São Paulo’ in October last year with an initial bid of 5.3 million reais, but there was no buyer. Now, the minimum bid has risen to 7.8 million reais.

One of the main conditions of the sale involves carrying out an environmentally appropriate recycling process. One concern is with toxic materials like asbestos. The disassembly process will be carried out in another country and the transfer of the ‘São Paulo’ will be in charge of the company winning the bid.

AF-1 (A-4) fighter (Rob Schleiffert)


The Brazilian Navy aircraft carrier was purchased from France in 2000, where it was retired after 40 years in service at the Marine Nationale. The Brazilian government at the time paid $12 million for the vessel, which replaced the ‘Minas Gerais’, a old British aircraft carrier.

At the same time, the Navy had acquired A-4 Skyhawk attack planes from Kuwait that served on board the ‘São Paulo’, but frequent technical problems made the aircraft carrier a huge headache.

To replace the ‘São Paulo’, Brazil returned to acquire a British ship, the HMS Ocean, a helicopter carrier that was deactivated in 2018.