ITAGUAÍ, Brazil --- On Friday morning (11th), the Brazilian Navy celebrated in advance the Day of the Sailor, traditionally celebrated on December 13, in the Naval Complex of Itaguaí, in Rio de Janeiro state. The ceremony was marked by the launch of the submarine “Humaitá” (S-41) and the integration of the hull sections of the submarine Tonelero (S-42), both built under the Submarine Development Program (PROSUB).
Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo and his wife, Adelaide Azevedo e Silva, godmother of Humaitá, were present, and accompanied the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro. The Navy Commander, Admiral Ilques Barbosa Junior, the President of Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN), André Portalis, and other authorities also attended the ceremony.
"We have a special opportunity to witness this accomplishment by our Naval Force that, inspired by the legacy of Tamandaré, leads the Prosub, designed with the purpose of strengthening the naval power and contributing to the strengthening of the National Defense Structure," highlighted Jair Bolsonaro on the Navy contribution to Brazil.
The Commander of the Navy, Admiral Ilques Barbosa, highlighted the history of Tamandaré, considered a national hero and the patron of the Naval Force, and the importance of improving the Strategic Navy Plan (PEM) 2040. “It is a high-level, structured document which, based on the analysis of the operational environment and the identification of threats, establishes strategic programs with the purpose of providing Brazil with a modern Naval Force and of a size compatible with the country's political and strategic structure.”
The President of Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN), André Portalis, congratulated those involved in the development of naval technology. “It is an honor to welcome you here at the Brazilian Defense Naval Technology Center, at the Itaguaí Naval Complex. There are 140 thousand square meters of industrial and technological facilities operated by more than 3,000 people, fully qualified, highly trained to celebrate this event today,” he emphasized.
Christening of Humaitá
During the ceremony, Humaitá was christened with the traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne on her hull. The submarine's godmother, Adelaide Azevedo e Silva, was accompanied by the Navy Commander, the Commander-in-Chief of Humaitá, Commander Martim Bezerra de Moraes Junior and Rear Admiral Engineer Luciana Mascarenhas da Costa Marrone, who represented all the women of the Navy, which this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of the admission of the first woman into the service.
“Today is an important day for the Navy and for all Brazilians. The launching of Submarino Humaitá is the result of the work of men and women who love Brazil and are concerned about our protection. I am very happy to live this moment,” Adelaide said.
Commander Martim spoke about the satisfaction of being part of this project and emphasized that Humaitá will bring new capabilities and an increase in performance to the Navy and to the submarine force. "Considered to be the first line of defense in our defense assets in Brazil, Humaitá will be a great challenge for all of us, but I am sure that it is the capabilities that she will bring to the Force over any difficulties that we may face".
PROSUB was launched in 2008 to increase the capability of the Navy to defend the country with the production of four conventional submarines and the first submarine in Brazil with nuclear propulsion. The program’s first submarine, Riachuelo (S-40), was launched in 2018; she is now in the final trials phase before being delivered to the Navy.
Humaitá (S-41), which was christened on Friday 11th, is the second of the four conventional submarines being developed; she is 71 meters long and displaces 1,870 tonnes. To lower it into the sea, a shiplift - an elevator 110 meters long with 34 electric winches.
The third submarine, Tonelero (S-42), reached an major milestone with the final integration and welding, also completed on Dec. 11; its launch is planned for the third quarter of 2021. Prosub's schedule foresees the launch of the fourth submarine, Angostura (S-44), in the third quarter of 2022, while the “Álvaro Alberto”, the first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine (SN-BR) derived from the same design, should be launched in 2029.