The Brazilian Navy’s first Modified Scorpene-class (Riachuelo-class, S-BR) diesel-electric submarine, Riachuelo (S40), has performed its maiden static dive.
“It is an essential step which enable the testing of the density as well as stability of the vessel. This first immersion is conducted by a joint team: ICN [Itaguaí Construções Navais], Nafco and Naval Group”, said a statement by submarine’s developer Naval Group.
The hull of Riachuelo was laid down at Cherbourg on 27 May 2010 and the boat was launched at the Itaguaí Naval Complex in Itaguaí on Dec. 14, 2018.
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 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 S-BR variant is not fitted with an air-independent propulsion (AIP).
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.