Sections of Brazil’s First Scorpene-class Submarine, Riachuelo Arrives at Itaguai Shipyard

The sections of the first Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarine, Riachuelo (S40) being built for the Brazilian Navy have been transferred to the Itaguai Shipyard for the final integration.

The ceremony was attended by Michel Temer, the President of Brazil, said Naval Group in a statement.

The sections were transferred to the shipyard in the Itaguaí Naval Complex after completing an 11-hour journey from the Steel Structures Manufacturing Unit (UFEM, Unidade de Fabricação de Estruturas Metálicas), also located in Itaguaí, Rio de Janeiro. The sections were fabricated at UFEM.

The transferring was conducted by the Brazilian Navy and Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN), a joint venture comprised of prime contractor Odebrecht and Naval Group, using a 320-wheeled special vehicle.

The hull of Riachuelo was laid down at Cherbourg on 27 May 2010. She is scheduled to be launched later this year and is expected to be commissioned 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.

The other three Scorpene submarines, Humaita (S41), Tonelero (S42) and Ango Stura (S43) are currently at different stages of development at UFEM.

Scorpène-class submarines

Scorpène-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines jointly developed by the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and the Spanish company Navantia, and now by DCNS.

It features diesel propulsion and can be optionally fitted with an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP).


The Chilean Navy ordered two Scorpène-class boats, which replaced two Oberon-class submarines retired by the Chilean Navy. In 2005, the Indian Navy ordered six Scorpène-class; all the Indian boats will be built in India, at Mazagon Dock and elsewhere, and the last two are to be fitted with an Indian Fuel cell AIP module. For the follow-on requirement of six submarines, DCNS plans to offer a larger version of the submarine to the Indian Navy. In 2008, the Brazilian Navy ordered four Scorpènes.

The Chilean Scorpène-class O’Higgins and Carrera were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2009, the Royal Malaysian Navy commissioned Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak. The Indian Navy commissioned Kalvari in 2017.

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