Refitted Sao Paulo returns to sea
By Nick Brown
South America's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Brazilian Navy's Clemenceau-class São Paulo, finally returned to sea in late December after an extensive refit and upgrade.
The ship had been at the Arsenal de Marinha at Rio de Janeiro since May 2005 undergoing a full programme of repair and enhancement work focusing primarily on São Paulo's propulsion systems, which were completely rebuilt, and catapults, which have been refurbished. A number of other enhancements have also been introduced, including a new satellite communications fit, three new twin-Mistral surface-to-air missile launchers and an unspecified new electronic warfare system.
As well as the catapult refurbishments, the refit also saw several flight deck modifications.
Pending the success of the sea trials, the carrier air group is due to fly aboard in February and begin working up with the new deck layout and their upgraded A-4s.142 of 375 words
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