Brazilian Navy activates its new submarine base

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Navy formally inaugurated its new Island of Madeira Submarine Base (Base de Submarinos da Ilha da Madeira, BSIM) on 17 July.

Construction of the base has been under way since 2014 by Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção at the 750,000 m2 Itaguaí Naval Complex (Complexo Naval de Itaguaí), located in the municipality of Itaguaí in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

When fully completed, BSIM – which comprises north and south areas interconnected by a 703 m-long tunnel – will include piers, a command building, administration facilities, a healthcare unit, workshops, a water treatment plant, a CBRN defence battalion, training facilities, a simulation centre, a bus station, accommodation blocks, and a canteen.

The base will be the location from which Brazil’s four future Riachuelo-class S-BR diesel-electric submarines – Riachuelo (S40), Humaitá (S41), Tonelero (S42), and Angostura (S43) – will operate, along with the future SN-BR nuclear-powered attack submarine Álvaro Alberto.

First-of-class S-BR submarine Riachuelo is due to be commissioned in December, the Brazilian Navy told Janes on 4 July.

The four conventional submarines are being built by Itaguaí Construções Navais: a joint venture between France’s Naval Group, the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht and the Brazilian Navy as part of the Submarine Development Program (PROSUB) that also includes shipyard and naval base construction, a steel manufacturing plant, local production of French F21 torpedoes and a technology transfer programme.

Previous information from the Brazilian Navy indicates that the existing four U209/1400 Tupi-class submarines and the single U209/1400mod Tikuna-class boat, which are based at Almirante Castro e Silva Submarine Base (BACS) in Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro, could potentially be relocated to BSIM. However, BACS would be retained to serve as a support facility.

The Itaguaí Naval Complex, which contains the new BSIM submarine base, comprises infrastructure that allows the Brazilian Navy to build, operate, sustain, maintain, repair and modernise submarines, as well as to train crews and also host surface ships. (Brazilian Navy)

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The Brazilian Navy formally inaugurated its new Island of Madeira Submarine Base (Base de Submarinos...

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