Britain makes bid for Brazil warship contract

15th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain has offered to build 11 warships for Brazil, the British embassy said Tuesday, as Brazil hones a maritime defense contract to protect recently found vast offshore oil deposits.

Britain's Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defense, Gerald Howarth presented the offer to Brazil's acting defense minister Julio Soares de Moura Neto aboad the British Navy's HSM Ocean, the embassy said.

Howarth said he was aware Brazil had other international bids on hand for the defense contract, but felt sure the British offer carried weight since it was a government-to-government project.

He said Brazil's demand that the contract include a complete technological transfer package was not an obstacle, adding that Britain had ample experience in that field and citing its recent airline sector deal with India as an example.

The British official said his government's offer included building five coastal patrol ships, five navy escorts and a logistical support vessel.

Brazil has already signed a submarine and helicopter deal with France and is soon expected to announce the winner of a multi-billion dollar contract to build 27 fighter jets.

Brazil in 2007 discovered a deepwater oil field that could be the world's biggest in 20 years. Located off the coast from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, it could hold as much as 7.9 billion barrels of crude.

© 2010 AFP

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