The Brazilian Navy’s first Modified Scorpene-class (Riachuelo-class, S-BR) diesel-electric submarine, Riachuelo (S40), has been launched at the Itaguaí Naval Complex in Itaguaí on Dec. 14.
The submarine was initially moved to TTS Syncrolift’s ship lift, from the Estaleiro de Construção (ESC) assembly hall,and was lowered into the water during the launch.
The boat will now spend another estimated two years undergoing pier tests and sea trials. It is scheduled for delivery to the Brazilian Navy in 2020.
In 2009, Brazil purchased four enlarged Scorpènes (S-BR) for US$9.9 billion with a technology transfer agreement and a second agreement to develop a French/Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine as part of the submarine development programme (PROSUB).
The S-BR variant is not fitted with an air-independent propulsion (AIP). The nuclear-powered submarine could be a variant of the Scorpène class (which would make it similar in concept to the Rubis-class submarine) or one of the more powerful Barracuda class.
With a length of 71.62 m and a surface displacement of 1,870 tonnes, the S-BRs are designed for a full range of roles, including anti-surface (ASuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions, special operations, and intelligence-gathering.
The ships feature six 533 mm tubes firing either Naval Group F21 torpedoes or MBDA Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 missiles. Naval Group CANTO decoys launched from two Naval Group Contralto-S countermeasures launchers provide the S-BRs with anti-torpedo capability.
The other three Scorpene submarines – Humaitá (S41), Tonelero (S42), and Angostura (S43) – are currently at different stages of development at the Steel Structures Manufacturing Unit (UFEM, Unidade de Fabricação de Estruturas Metálicas), also located in Itaguaí, Rio de Janeiro.