World Aircraft Carriers List: Brazil

Revised 26 November 2001
Version 2.04
Compiled and Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
World Aircraft Carrier Lists Main Page:

Minas Gerais (A11) light strike/ASW aircraft carrier
Sao Paulo (A12) light strike/ASW carrier

Minas Gerais (HMS Colossus class) light strike/ASW aircraft carrier

Displacement: 19,900 tons full load
Dimensions: 630 x 80 x 24 feet/192 x 24.4 x 7.3 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 695 x ?? x 24 feet/211.8 x ?? x 7.3 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 boilers, 2 shafts, 40,000 shp, 24 knots
Crew: 1300
Armor: none
Armament: 10 40 mm AA
Aircraft: 35

Concept/Program: An ex-RN/RAN light fleet carrier acquired in 1956. Is the Brazilian Navy's largest ship, and despite old age, remains in service. To be replaced by Sao Paulo and decommissioned by 2003.

Modifications: Underwent extensive refit following purchase; angled deck added, new elevators installed, new island, all new aircraft operations and support equipment and electronics outfit. Mistral SAM fitted to replace AA guns in 1994.

Operational: First operated as a strike/ASW carrier, then as an ASW-only ship. Laid up 1987 due to catapult problems, but returned to service. Now operates only helicopters, due to a lack of suitable fixed-wing aircraft. However, A-4s have been acquired, and the ship has operated with Argentine jets.

Minas Gerais
ex-HMAS Vengeance, ex-HMS Vengeance
Photos: [HMS Vengeance as completed], [HMS Vengeance in service], [As HMAS Vengeance], [Minas Gerais as commissioned], [Minas Gerais in the 1990's.] [Minas Gerais in the 1990's.]

Built by Swan Hunter. Laid down 16 Nov 1942, launched 23 Feb 1944, commissioned 15 Jan 1945. Served in the Mediterranean, then in the Pacific. RN designation changed to R64 circa 1945 for service in the Pacific; returned to previous designation postwar. Participated in cold-weather trials in the Arctic 1948-49; troop and aircraft transport 1951-52. Designation changed to R71 under NATO designation system. Refitted early 1950's and loaned to Australia 13 November 1952 as HMAS Vengeance.

Initially served as a training carrier, then a first-line carrier starting late 1953, then returned to training in 1954. Decommissioned and returned to RN 13 Aug 1955 and placed in reserve upon return.

Sold to Brazil 12 Dec 1956; refitted at Rotterdam 6/1957-12/1960, recommissioned 6 December 1960 as Minas Gerais (A11). Refitted 1976-1980 but laid up 1987 due to catapult problems. Refitted 1991-1993, recommissioned 10/1993; catapult repaired by 1996. During the 1990's operated only ASW helicopters, but A-4s have since been acquired.

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Sao Paulo (Clemenceau class) class light strike/ASW aircraft carrier

Displacement: approx. 32,700 tons full load
Dimensions: 780.8 x 104 x 28.2 feet/238 x 31.7 x 8.6 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 869.5 x 168 x 28.2 feet/265 x 51.2 x 8.6 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 6 boilers, 2 shafts, 126,000 hp, 32 knots
Crew: approx. 1200 + air group
Armor: none
Armament: unknown
Aircraft: probably approx. 30

Concept/Program: Former French carrier acquired 2000 to replace Minas Gerais. Details of armament and weapons outfit in Brazilian service are not known.

Sao Paulo
Photos: [Foch as completed].

Built by Ch. Atlantique (St. Nazaire), completed at Brest. Laid down 2/57, launched 7/1959 when complete up to the hangar floor, transferred to Brest and docked for completion, relaunched 28 July 1960, commissioned 15 July 1963.

Refitted 15 July 1980 to 4 Dec 1981. Refitted with new defensive systems 2/87 to 6/88. Decommissioned 15 November 2001 and transferred to Brazil as Sao Paulo same date.

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The World Aircraft Carrier Lists
Compiled and Maintained by Andrew Toppan (
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