Tamandare class corvettes purchase contract heats up in Brazil

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A few days ago, the Correio Braziliense published that the contract that the Brazilian Navy and EMGEPRON, subscribed with Aguas Azuis, a joint venture by EMBRAER and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), to build the Tamandare class corvettes is under the investigation of the Tribunal de Contas da União, Brazilian state accountability office.

Pernambuco state shipbuilders, as in their metalworker’s union, protested the agreement with the TCU. This is to build four Tamandare class corvettes (CCT) with deliveries between 2024 and 2028 for 5.500 million Reales, approximately 1.4 billion U.S. dollars. This union claims that the contract chose an unqualified company to build them. Supporting also the need of scrutiny under current corruption allegations worldwide for both EMBRAER and TKMS.

The selection of the Oceania Shipyard would be a direct conflict of interest to the fact that BNDES, who is funding the entire project, has a 20% share on the CBO Group, owner of Oceania. Also protesting the fact that TKMS chose a third-party shipyard instead of producing them with one of their own at least as a partner.

Henrique Gomes, union head, pushed the fact that the ships could be built at shipyards for example as the ones controlled by the FLP Group such as Vard-Promar and provide a much needed, in this time of crisis, source of employment. Also focusing on the fact that Oceania has an unsuitable 90-meter yard for a 120-meter corvette and the closed source code on any improvements, integrations and updates that Brazil might develop should pay royalties to the Aguas Azuis consortium.

Both the Brazilian Navy and the Aguas Azuis consortium have denied these allegations and stated that all the agreements have full legal compliance and have prevailed the best arguments for both parties according to law and BNDES.

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