A new U.S. defense strategy unveiled in January calls for a resized, refocused military. Proceedings asked the leaders of the world’s sea services: In an era of austere defense budgets and rapidly increasing technologies, what are the strategic objectives for your naval force over the next 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Admiral Julio Soares de Moura Neto
With the approval in 2008 of the National Strategy of Defense (NSD), Brazil now has a legal instrument supporting revitalization of the armed forces. The NSD establishes an increased military capacity, which for our navy represents a reconfiguration of forces that in part will be reflected in increased participation in peacekeeping missions, humanitarian actions, support for foreign policy, and carrying out subsidiary tasks, especially the safety of waterway navigation and protecting human life at sea.
According to the NSD, one of the basic tasks for the navy is ensuring it has the means to deny maritime access to any hostile forces approaching Brazil. That is our strategic priority, to which other goals—such as developing the ability to control maritime and inland areas of political-strategic importance and projecting power—are secondary. Therefore the navy will look at phased development that balances submarine, surface, and air components. Its focus will be oil rigs, ports and naval facilities, the Brazilian archipelagos and oceanic islands, threat-response readiness, the maritime communication lanes, and participation in peacekeeping missions.
To deny hostile use of the sea, Brazil will rely on conventional and nuclear-powered submarines of its own design and construction. For power projection we will maintain marine forces in constant readiness with the capacity for expeditionary excellence. In its surface fleet, Brazil will pay special attention to the construction of aircraft carriers and multipurpose vessels.
From the standpoint of maritime situational awareness, we see the importance of establishing a global information-sharing network to supplement existing regional and domestic networks in the monitoring, surveillance, and control of waters in our area of responsibility, especially in the South Atlantic.
Another priority is collaboration with neighboring countries, friends, and traditionally allied blocs—establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships, meetings, and bilateral agreements—to foster global peace and stability.
We are embarking on geographic repositioning and re-equipping of naval forces ,aiming at achieving short-term goals before 2015; medium-term goals before 2022; and in the longer term before 2030.
In that regard, our main focuses are: the continuity of the navy’s nuclear program; adding conventional and nuclear-powered submarines; formation of a second fleet and the creation of a second marine force in the country’s north and northeast; implementation of the “Blue Amazon” management system to expand monitoring, surveillance, and control of our territorial waters; intensifying our presence at the borders and in the major river basins; and the acquisition of naval, air, and marine assets required to accomplish our missions.