NAVAL WARFARE: Brazilian Navy S&T Chief Wants Access to U.S. High Tech
The head of the Brazilian Navy’s science and technology (S&T) unit thinks the United States should ease up its technology export controls for one of its key allies in Latin America.
“We would like it if the U.S. would be sensitive to Brazilian technology needs,” Admiral Wilson Guerra told a session of the Office of Naval Research’s S&T Partnership Conference this week.
Guerra, speaking Portuguese and translated by simultaneous interpreters, said “technology embargoes” had prevented Brazil from obtaining radar-evading stealth technology. “Brazil is a major partner with the U.S.,” Guerra said, adding that both countries’ navies “have been working together for a long time.”
As Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation for the Brazilian Navy, Guerra outlined the naval portion of his country’s new strategic plan. It involves strengthening the military’s presence in the Amazon Region and its many rivers. Another part calls for paying as much attention to the waters 100 miles off Brazil’s 7,491 kilometer/6,654 mile coastline as to the Amazon, long seen as a major contributor to Brazil’s economy.
“The Brazilian people didn’t understand the significance of the sea” Guerra said, so the shift in priorities was dubbed the Blue Amazon (Amazonia Azul video in Portuguese) to signify the economic and strategic importance of the sea coast and its deeper waters which are believed to contain vast petroleum deposits.
Keeping those resources secure is one reason for Brazil’s “new strategic vision,” which links national defense with national development. 4GWAR first reported about Brazil’s new strategic defense plan two years ago when then-Defense Minister Nelson Jobim spoke at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Guerra said it was not just a naval strategy but a strategy “for the entire Brazilian state.”
For the military, the plan calls for one aircraft carrier, 23 escort vessels, 28 district patrol boats, eight submarines and the construction of a nuclear submarine with French assistance. Three French/Spanish-designed Scorpene subs have been built so far.
Guerra said eventually Brazil will have two fleets. One based in Rio de Janiero, the other farther north in or near the Amazon.
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