Brazil's Navy Thursday bid farewell to the Sao Paulo aircraft carrier, which has been decommissioned and sold for scrap. Türkiye is the structure's final destination.
The largest military vessel in Brazil's history took to the sea from Rio de Janeiro, propelled by a Dutch tugboat. The former carrier had been moored in Rio de Janeiro since March last year when its hull was sold as scrap for R$ 10.5 million (about US$ 2 million) to the Turkish shipyard Sok Denizcilikve Tic, which specializes in dismantling ships.
At the time of her decommissioning in February 2017, the Sao Paulo had become the world's oldest aircraft carrier.
It had been built in France in 1963 and could accommodate a crew of up to 1,300 and carry 30 fighter-bombers and helicopters.
The carrier was purchased from the French government for US$ 12 million. After serving between 1963 and 2000 under the name FS Foch, she was commissioned in April 2001 to take over from the British-built Minas Gerais, dating back to the early 1940s.
The Sao Paulo's spell in Brazil consisted most of the time of statying docked amid mechanical problems and accidents, including two fires leading to fatalities.
The unit spent 206 days at sea, sailed 85,334 kilometers, and served as a base for 566 aircraft takeoffs, mainly the AF-1 (McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk) naval fighter, according to Navy data.
The Sao Paulo/Foch Institute tried to turn the hull into a museum, following the model of the USS Intrepid in New York, but the plan was discarded by the Navy.
Brazil's Navy has not had an aircraft carrier since the dismantling of the Sao Paulo but in 2018 the multipurpose helicopter carrier (PHM) Atlantic was commissioned. However, plans for the purchase of a new carrier by 2040 have been devised.