The first of four Scorpène diesel-electric (S-BR) submarines being built under Brazil's PROSUB (Programa de Desenvolvimento de Submarinos) programme has been launched by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN).
Riachuelo was lowered into the water at the Itaguaí naval complex, some 70 km west of Rio de Janeiro, on 14 December. The boat will now continue test and commissioning activities alongside before beginning sea trials in 2019. Delivery to the Brazilian Navy/Marinha do Brasil is planned to follow in 2020.
Building on a strategic defence agreement signed by the Brazilian and French governments in December 2008, French naval shipbuilding, systems, and services company DCNS - now Naval Group - was contracted in September 2009 to deliver the PROSUB programme. Its scope of supply encompasses three major components: a transfer of technology package for the in-country build of the four Scorpène S-BR boats; design and manufacturing services related to the non-nuclear elements of Brazil's first nuclear-powered submarine (SN-BR); and support for the design and construction of a new submarine build facility and naval base in Itaguaí.
ICN is a joint venture established by Brazil's Odebrecht (59% shareholding) and Naval Group (41%), although the latter has responsibility for operational control. The Brazilian Navy retains a 'golden share' through Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON).
The S-BR design is a derivative of the Scorpène line, variants of which have previously been sold to Chile, India, and Malaysia. The S-BR version features a lengthened hull (from 66.4 m to 71.6 m) to meet the specific requirements of the Brazilian Navy for increased range, extended endurance (> 45 days), and a larger crew.
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