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Brazil sees delays in submarine programme

The first-ever nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Brazilian Navy, Álvaro Alberto , is scheduled for launch in 2029 and commissioning in 2034, Fleet Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, head of the Directorate-General for Nuclear and Technological Development of the Navy (DGDNTM) said during a media briefing on Brazil's Submarine Development Program (PROSUB) in late May.

The construction of the pressure hull will start in 2023, according to a contract to be awarded to Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) this year.

Earlier information by the navy to Janes indicates the start of the hull in 2022, launch in 2029, and commissioning in 2030.

The hull sections will be built by state-owned firm Nuclebrás Equipamentos Pesados (NUCLEP), while the final work will be carried out by ICN.

Around BRL810 million (USD 160.8 million) worth of equipment and services for the boat were acquired, Adm Olsen said during the May briefing.

The initial detailing phase of the boat, conducted by the Submarine Development Center (CDS), which started in February 2019, is due to complete in early 2022, while the final detailing project and construction phase will run until 2031.

The so-called “Submarino Convencional com Propulsão Nuclear” (SCPN) is being set up, according to the contracts signed in 2009 as part of the PROSUB.

The navy is seeking to form a contract with a consortium of French companies to finalise the Electronuclear Energy Generation Laboratory (LABGENE), Adm Olsen said.

The LABGENE, which is being built at the Nuclear Industrial Center of Aramar as part of the Navy Nuclear Program (PNM), is scheduled to be ready in 2027. It serves as the prototype of the nuclear reactor that will power Álvaro Alberto .

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