COBERTURA ESPECIAL - PROSUB - Defense

November 09, 2015 - 15:00 ( Brasília )

Brazilian Torpedo Development by MECTRON Advances

Weapon will arm the future Brazilian Navy’s submarine fleet


Versão em português


Mectron, a Brazilian Strategic Defense company controlled by Odebrecht Defense and Technology (ODT), marked a major advance in its strategy for defense market: started this year developing the first Brazilian torpedo with the National Heavy Weight Torpedo- reduced-scale (TPNer) Program. This program inserts the company located in São José dos Campos city, state of São Paulo, Brazil, into a select and small group, making it the only company developing torpedoes in Americas, except the United States,and exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere.

The TPNer is part of the long-termstrategic goals that mobilize the Brazilian Navy to ensure the protection of the “Blue Amazon”, as Brazilian territorial waters are known.The Brazilian torpedo is essential in order to Brazil independently arm the futuresubmarines born from PROSUB-Submarines Development Program, free from external factors. These submarines are being built by ICN-Itaguaí Contruções Navais,an association between ODT with the French DCNS.

In order to ease the reduced-scale torpedo development, Mectron has partnered with Atlas Elektronik, a German company with over a century of history and a world leader developing underwater weapons. Since the first months of 2015, a Mectron’ s highly skilled team of engineers is leading in Germany the first phase of the program, as explains Rodrigo Carnauba, ODT/Mectron’s Director of Naval Systems/Weapons:

"For this first phase, which are being set product specifications and system solutions to be adopted throughout the project, we sent to Germany a team of seniors engineers with excellent academic level and, most importantly, professionals with wide background got from another smart weapons programs that Mectron has developed over its 25 years history serving the Brazilian Armed Forces. International technology partnerships like this have already been part of our strategy and our work system for years."

The Ph.D. engineer Francisco Amorim III, TPNer Program Technical Coordinatorand leader of Mectron team living in Germany, worked on development programs of equipment for space, avionics systems and integration of the MAR-1 anti-radiation, air-to-surface missile on aircrafts that launch this weapon. Designated by Mectron direction board to the TPNer Program, Amorim highlights relevant aspects to success it:

"Our project is being developed with the most modern torpedo technology available worldwide. The adopted technology transfer model is a joint development, with Brazilian and Germany experts composing a single team, working side by side. In addition to this, the effectiveness of technology transfer is made possible only by our capability to join highly skilled people and wide knowledge developing smart weapons. For this purpose, the team has been carefully selected to ensure the absorption of specific underwater vehicles technologies. Another important factor to ensure the success of this transfer is our commitment to build, at the right time, a suitable product both to Brazilian Navy and international market needs".

Mectron has a history strongly associated to Brazilian smart weapons development, specifically missiles and associated products/services. Since its incorporation by Odebrecht group in 2011, the company is expanding its portfolio in other key segments for the Brazilian Armed Forces. One of these is the Communicationmarket, due to Link BR2 Program, a military data link system for the Brazilian Air Force, and the development of an RDS - Software Defined Radiofor the Brazilian Army.

About missiles, one of the new programs already in an advanced development stage is the MAN-SUP, an anti-ship surface-to-surface missile also for the Brazilian Navy. Rodrigo Carnaúba comments about the commonalities and differences between these new programs:

"The development of smart weapons has always been the Mectron expertise, mainly sensors, on-board electronics and guidance & control. However, we have always worked with smart weapons guided by infrared, radio frequency or laser, and launched from aircraft or surface platforms. For a torpedo, a smart weapon for underwater operation, we have to improve our knowledge advancing them to the underwater acoustics and hydrodynamics fields. Since starting from “zero” and performing an independent way would result in high costs and long-term development, the partnership with Atlas will reduce the work. The participation of Mectron in these projects will open doors worldwide and will enhance our corporate strategy into defense market."

Recently, Odebrecht Defense and Technology Odebrecht (ODT)announced starting negotiations for seeking a technological and strategic partner for Mectron. The company looks for an international partner, maintain its certification of Brazilian strategic defense company. In face of the momentary budgetary constraints that are affecting the defense programs in Brazil, ODT is aware of its important strategic and political role for the Brazilian defense and technology fields. It seeks a partner who contributes with direct access to technology, with a robust capital structure and operating into the global market. With this new technology partner for Mectron, ODTwill be even more prepared to meet the strategic demands of the Brazilian Government, Brazilian Armed Forces, as well as international customers.

Note DefesaNet

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