Navy Launches Submarine Riachuelo
(Source: Brazilian Ministry of Defence; issued Dec 15, 2018)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Nine years after signing a contract with France’s DCNS shipbuilding group (now Naval Group), Brazil on Dec 14 launched Riachuelo, the first of four license-built Scorpene diesel-electric submarines. Three more will follow every 12 to 18 months. (NG photo)
ITAGUAÍ, RJ) --- Riachuelo, the first submarine built by the Submarine Development Program (Prosub), was launched on Friday, Dec. 14. The ceremony took place in the Naval Complex of Itaguaí, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro.

The event was attended by the President of the Republic, Michel Temer; the president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro; the Minister of Defense, Joaquim Silva e Luna; and the Navy commander, Admiral Eduardo Bacellar, among other civil and military authorities.

The solemnity of the occasion demonstrated the significance of the project for our country. In addition to the personalities, employees of the company responsible for the construction of the submarine, Itaguaí Construções Navais, and the crew honored the first time the boat touched the waters of the ocean.

In opening the ceremony, the president of Itaguaí Construções Navais, André Portalis, pointed out that "Riachuelo is a combination of French technology with the needs of the Navy. We have succeeded in this partnership to accrue concrete gains. "

With 72 meters in length, six meters in diameter and 1,870 tons, the submarine, decorated with the colors of the Brazilian flag, was christened by the First Lady, Marcela Temer, who asked that the vessel and the sailors who are to embark be blessed.

After several presentations regarding the origin, assembly and completion of the Riachuelo, the launch elevator was activated jointly by President Temer, his successor, Commander Leal Ferreira, and the future Minister of Mines and Energy, Admiral Bento Costa Lima. To be lowered into the sea, the boat was placed on a platform measuring 110 meters, which was lowered 10 meters from the pier by means of 34 winches. The maneuver, which took about half an hour, was carried out by more than 70 people.

President Temer emphasized that the country is moving steadily towards the construction of the nuclear-powered submarine, thanks to the acquisition of high-tech expertise, which is employed not only in the military. "It also brings benefits in the fields of energy, medicine and science. Prosub is not only a fundamental element of our defense strategy. It is also an integral part of our technological development policy, "he said.

For Minister Silva and Luna, in addition to the program to strengthen the national economy with the qualification of labor and the generation of jobs, it will makes Brazil remain in the select group of countries capable of building submarines. "If much has already been done, much is yet to come. Prosub goes beyond this release, something that requires perseverance, continued effort and recognition," he said.

Trial period

Among those who celebrated the event was electrical technician Sérgio Fernandes, 49. He worked on activating Riachuelo's batteries and said attending the launch event was gratifying. "I come from work, so this is different from all the activities I've worked on, it's a different world, too exciting. The people look ready and know that participated, is very cool, "he said.

After this first contact with the ocean, the submarine will go through a series of tests before starting its first submerged mission. "We all celebrate this symbolic ceremony as one of the greatest milestones of Prosub. We celebrate this achievement for Brazilian society," said the Navy's commander.

After all the tests, which will last for about two years, including at sea, the submarine will finally be incorporated into the Submarine Force, subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief of the Brazilian Fleet.

With a crew of 35, 70 days of autonomy at sea and capable of diving to depths of over 300 meters, the construction of Riachuelo generated 5,000 direct jobs and 12,500 indirect ones.

The submarine is the first in a series of four conventional and one nuclear submarine that the Navy will build through Prosub.

The purpose of this production is to protect the 3.5 million square kilometers of territorial waters, and guarantee Brazilian sovereignty at sea.

"It is a great satisfaction to lead a crew that is very well prepared and will operate a very modern, technologically upgraded submarine and will certainly increase greatly in our ability to defend the Blue Amazon," said the commander of the mission, Corvette Captain
Edson do Vale.

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Launching of the Riachuelo, the First Brazilian Scorpène Submarine
(Source: Naval Group; issued Dec 14, 2018)
This morning, the Brazilian Navy launched its first Brazilian-built Scorpène submarine, the Riachuelo. 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
-- 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


Naval Group is a European leader in naval defence. As an international high-tech company, Naval Group uses its extraordinary know-how, unique industrial resources and capacity to arrange innovative strategic partnerships to meet its customers’ requirements. The group designs, builds and supports submarines and surface ships. It also supplies services to shipyards and naval bases. The group reports revenues of €3.7 billion and has a workforce of 13,429 (data for 2017).

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