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NAeL Minas Gerais

Minas Gerais is a former Brazilian aircraft carrier which was sold to a Hong Kong-based company in 2002. (NAeL stands for "Navio-Aeródromo Ligeiro".)

It started out its life as the HMS Vengeance, built by the United Kingdom during World War II. It was purchased by Brazil in 1956 for USD $9 million, and named after Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek's home state of Minas Gerais. He apparently made this decision as part of an (ultimately unsuccessful) effort to appease the Brazilian military, although this was only one of many extravagant projects Kubitschek carried out (such as Brasilia).

It served for 42 years in the Brazilian Navy, before being decommissioned. The hull of the Minas Gerais was widely considered not to be much more than scrap metal. The aircraft carrier was offered for sale on the internet with an asking price of USD$4 million.

However, in 2002, it was sold at auction for USD $2 million to HK Jiexin Shipping, a Hong Kong company. The company claims it will anchor it in Zhoushan, China, near Shanghai and will convert it into a museum with shops and a bar. However as of October 2003, this bid was rescinded.

On December 29, 2003, there was an attempt to sell an aircraft carrier on ebay with nearly the same specifications as the Minas Gerais but was not named as such. However, the auction was pulled before a successful close of transaction.

See also: Soviet aircraft carrier Varyag

External Links

Sellers website
  • Friends of HMS Vengeance Campaign