Brazilian Navy’s Newest Submarine Riachuelo Conducts Its First Independent Navigation

The Brazilian Navy’s first Modified Scorpene-class (Riachuelo-class, S-BR) diesel-electric submarine, Riachuelo (S40) has carried out the first independent navigation, without the need for tugs, on August 12.

During the trials, the rudders, the navigation and propulsion system, the diesel generators, the battery charges at sea and the communication system were tested.

The next milestone for the submarine, the static dive, will take place over the next months.

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 for its Navy (Marinha do Brasil) 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, named Álvaro Alberto, is under construction and is based on the enlarged Scorpène class which would make it similar in concept to the Rubis-class submarine.

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.

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