Brazil’s first Scorpene submarine Riachuelo takes shape

The three separate sections of the Brazilian Navy’s first Scorpene submarine ‘Riachuelo’ were integrated into a single unit during a ceremony on Tuesday at the assembly facility in Itaguaí in the Sepetiba Bay.

Brazilian president Michel Temer attended the ceremony together with navy and defense chiefs.

The sections of the first Scorpene were built and pre-equipped in Itaguai by the Brazilian shipyard Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) and moved from the pre-outfitting to the assembly site in January this year.

The three sections will be welded before summer 2018 to make up the 71-meter diesel electric submarine. Riachuelo is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020. The three remaining submarines will be produced at an average rate of one per year.

“Naval Group is pleased to work alongside the Brazilian Navy and is proud of the successful transfer of technology achieved, which provides the country with state-of-the-art equipment made in Brazil,” Naval Group CEO Hervé Guillou who attended the ceremony said. “The capacity building of the Brazilian Navy will contribute to the crossing of a new stage in the regional and global influence of Brazil.”

Naval Group contributed to this project achieving technology transfers by providing the submarine blueprint, the inner equipment as well as technical assistance. ICN construction crews were also trained in submarine construction techniques. As part of a vast training plan for Brazilian welders, trainers, pipe fitters and electricians, one of the sections was built in 2013 at the Naval Group site in Cherbourg, France.

S40 is the first of four submarines to be built for Brazil under an agreement between French Naval Group (former DCNS) and Brazil in 2008. Subsequent contracts signed in 2010 led to the creation of Brazil’s Prosub program which will see France assist Brazil with the construction of four diesel-electric and the development of a nuclear-powered submarine.

The other three diesel-electric submarines, Humaita (S41), Tonelero (S42) and Ango Stura (S43), are all at different stages of construction at UFEM.

In addition to these four Scorpene-type submarines, ten other units designed and adapted by Naval Group for the export market are either in operational service or in ongoing realization in the world. There are currently two units ordered for the Chilean Navy, two units for the Malaysian Navy as well as six units for the Indian Navy.

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