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ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TMS) has announced the start of construction of the Brazilian Navy’s lead Tamandaré-class frigate.

It was marked by a traditional keel-laying ceremony at thyssenkrupp Estaleiro Brasil Sul in Itajaí, Santa Catarina, on 24 March. Brazilian Navy commander Fleet Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen presided, along with other military and civil authorities from the defence sector and naval industry.

The keel authentication of Tamandaré, the first of four vessels to be constructed under the Tamandaré-class frigates programme (PFCT), was represented by the placing of the ship’s 52t forward engine room at the building site.

This engine room comprises two engines, one gearbox, pumps and auxiliary equipment.

Brazilian Navy Materiel general director Fleet Admiral Arthur Fernando Bettega Corrêa said: “Today, we witnessed the meeting of tradition with compelling technological modernity, resulting in optimisation of production and increased security for both employees and information.”

A special purpose entity of the Águas Azuis Consortium, formed in 2019 and consisting of TMS, Embraer Defense & Security and Atech, was selected by the Brazilian Navy to build the four new Tamandaré-class corvettes.

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According to TMS, the construction of PFCT vessels is on schedule and has reached 34% of its total development.

In future stages, the companies will work on constructing the block that will form the aft engine room of the vessel. This stage will involve the integration and positioning of the equipment and engines.

The first ship will have more than 50 different structural units, of which around a quarter are being assembled at thyssenkrupp’s site Estaleiro Brasil Sul, while others have already been cut and shaped, with all the sub-assemblies and panels complete.

TMS CEO Oliver Burkhard said: “We will provide the Brazilian Navy with high-end frigates, which combine the cutting edge of naval technology, innovation and robust combat capabilities, and which will contribute greatly to Brazil’s national security in protecting the Amazônia Azul and beyond.”