The Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil) launched its first Brazilian-built Scorpene submarine, the Riachuelo, on December 14 2018. The ceremony took place at the Itaguaí Navy base in presence of the President of the Federal Republic of Brazil and of the elected President.
A strategic Brazilian-French partnership
In 2009, Naval Group was entrusted by the Brazilian Navy with designing and transferring the technology for four conventional Scorpène® submarines, and for the design and manufacturing assistance for the non-nuclear part of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine. The contract also included the support for the construction of a naval base and a shipyard in Brazil.
The Prosub program is a key extension of the strategic defence cooperation agreement signed in December 2008 in Rio de Janeiro.
The launching of the Scorpène® Riachuelo in presence of the Brazilian head of state today demonstrates the success of this program, with both the successful completion of the first submarine and of the shipyard’s infrastructure. The latter is being built by a Brazilian company, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO), based on Naval Group specifications and on the French group’s experience in the design, production engineering and in-service support of submarines.
The Riachuelo will start sea trials in 2019 for delivery in 2020. Delivery of submarines 2, 3 and 4 will then follow every 12 to 18 months.
Strengthening the Brazilian industrial base
Since 2012, Naval Group has done considerable work to identify, select, negotiate, qualify Brazilian service providers in order to:
- feed the supplier database for equipments or products supplied by Naval Group to the Brazilian Navy;
- and to present and qualify local suppliers for the future needs of the Brazilian Navy.
This work enables the Brazilian Navy to rely more and more on a sovereign national industrial base.
It also enables the Brazilian industrial ecosystem to access new markets by promoting their “Naval Group” and “Brazilian Navy” accreditation (whose image of excellence and seriousness is highly regarded in Brazil) and to avail of the know-how and experience of the French group in the fields of project management.
Finally, ICN (Itaguaí Construções Navais) will be able to call on this panel of suppliers for its own development as part of the future maintenance and support services of the submarines.
The Scorpène®, a success story on export markets
Scorpène® is the conventional submarine designed by Naval Group for the export market. It demonstrates both Naval Group’s ability to deliver best in class submarines and to conduct successful transfers of technology. Today 14 Scorpène® submarines are in operational service or being built, for the Chilean Navy (2 units), the Malaysian Navy (2 units), the Indian Navy (6 units) and the Brazilian Navy (4 units).
The Scorpène® design is adapted to fit each navy’s specific requirements. Thus, the Brazilian Scorpène® will be slightly longer to carry a larger crew, almost double the patrol range, and be able to cover greater distances.
Scorpène® is ideally suited for action and operational effectiveness. Robust and enduring, it’s an ocean-going submarine also designed for shallow waters operations. Multipurpose, it fulfils the entire scope of missions such as anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, special operations, offensive minelaying and intelligence gathering. Integrating improvements from French Barracuda-Class fast-attack submarine, Scorpène® has cutting-edge capabilities.
Brazilian Scorpène®’s characteristics
- Surfaced displacement: 1,600 – 2,000 t
- Length, overall: 72 m
- Submerged speed > 20 kts
- Diving depth > 300 m
- Autonomy > 45 days
- Crew: 35
- Weapons total payload: 18
- Weapon tubes: 6
- Operational availability at sea > 240 days per year