On Tuesday, September 14, in Rio de Janeiro, the governments of Brazil and of the United Kingdom signed an Agreement of Cooperation in Defense Affairs.
Admiral Julio Soares de Moura Neto, Commander of the Navy, signed for Brazil in the capacity of Acting Minister of Defense, replacing Minister Nelson Jobim, who is in official travel to Europe.
The United Kingdom was represented by the Deputy Minister of Defense, Gerald Howarth.
In his travel, Jobim also signed two similar agreements, one with the Czech Republic and another with Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense informed that the agreement with the United Kingdom isn´t linked to any specific commercial negotiation between the two countries.
Brazil and United Kingdom claim to develop the cooperation in long term in the Defense area, involving industrial partnerships, transfer of technology, education and training, among others.
The agreement is based on the principles of the equality and reciprocity between the sides and has the goal of promoting partnerships, especially in research and development of logistic support, security technologies, acquisition of products and services of Defense, activities of peacekeeping and exchange of military instructors, among others.
The British Deputy Minister for Security and National Strategy arrived in Brazil on Tuesday, 14, for a three-day visit.
Gerald Howarth came to the country to deliver personally the British offer for the joint construction of new ships for the Brazilian Navy, besides signing the agreement of cooperation in the Defense area.
Howarth emphasized that the agreement of cooperation of Defense “was projected to reinforce the commitment of long term of the United Kingdom with Brazil”.
“We are talking about practical programs to bring consistency to this treaty around partnership for the construction of a new global ship of combat. It is a very stimulating moment for us of the United Kingdom, and I hope that it is for Brazil too”, he affirmed.
According to him, the Brazilian Navy requires five ships of coastal patrol, one ship of logistic support and five escort ships.
The proposal ‘government to government’ includes a new ship of global combat, with air defense, with which Brazil will be able to benefit of the technology transfer.
According to Howarth, “unlike other countries, we have a real experience in technology transfer, as we did with India in the air sector. We hope that this ship can be built in a modular form, similar to our Type 45 (Destroyer), being built in several British shipyards, which can be good for Brazil, because different shipyards will be able to build different parts in Brazil”.
The Minister also drew attention to the reliability of the British ships, many of them bought in the past by the Brazilian Navy.
“We have a history of providing frigates to the country and we have also a need, in the United Kingdom, of building new frigates for our use. We believe that through a ‘government to government’ agreement, with the participation of the BAE Systems, we can offer a solution in which the Brazilians can trust”, he explained.
He admitted that the United Kingdom is behind other countries regarding the offer, but he emphasized that “one of the benefits for the Brazilians is that they will be able to influence the project, instead of receiving a closed package. And we are offering a project ‘government to government’. My discussions with the ambassador of Brazil in London, last week, and with Admiral Moura Neto, indicate that Brazil is open to study our proposal”.
In the opinion of the ambassador of the United Kingdom in Brazil, Alan Charlton, “this Defense treaty is part of a much larger effort of the British government to promote coalition to strengthen the relationship with emergent countries like Brazil. That’s why we had, two weeks ago, another visit of a Minister, Vince Cable, of Business and Innovation.”
According to Charlton, “this is a very important treaty of Defense and the next step will be to work the details in key areas in which we will develop the partnership”.