The keel laying ceremony for the Tamandaré frigate, a joint venture between the Brazilian Navy and Águas Azuis (a special purpose entity formed by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense & Security, and Atech), took place on March 24th at thyssenkrupp Estaleiro Brasil Sul in Itajaí, Santa Catarina.
Keel laying in shipbuilding marks the completion of the keel, enabling construction of other parts. With modern production processes in the Tamandaré Class Frigates Program (PFCT), ships can be built in blocks. The Tamandaré frigate’s keel laying involved positioning a 52-ton structural block at the building site, for installation of two engines, a gearbox, and auxiliary equipment in the forward engine room.
The block construction model enables the installation of accessories and foundations in advance, simplifies equipment placement on board, and allows work to proceed in segregated stages for each unit. Additionally, the process improves employee safety by keeping spaces open for longer periods during construction.
The shipyard has adopted a paperless methodology for engineering projects, which involves converting paper drawings into digital files to eliminate their use in the frigate’s production line. This approach enhances information security by ensuring the confidentiality required in a military project, while also benefiting the environment.
The PFCT construction is on track at 34% completion. The next step is building the aft engine room block, followed by completing the ship’s central structures. Approximately a quarter of the over fifty structural units are undergoing assembly at thyssenkrupp Estaleiro Brasil Sul.
Fleet Admiral Arthur Fernando Bettega Corrêa, the General Director of Navy Materiel, said at the ceremony “Today, we witnessed the meeting of tradition with compelling technological modernity, resulting in the optimization of production and increased security for both employees and information.”
Regarding personnel qualification for ship system maintenance, approximately 50% of systems engineering and integrated logistic support activities have been completed. The Tamandaré is expected to launch in mid-2024 and be delivered to the Brazilian Navy by the end of 2025. The hull plate cutting for the second Tamandaré-class frigate is planned for later this year.