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The third Brazilian Scorpène launched

The ceremony of the technical launch of the submarine Tonelero (S42) of the Riachuelo/Scorpène type took place at the Brazilian naval shipyard Itaguaí Construções Navais in Rio de Janeiro.

On Wednesday, March 27, at the Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) naval shipyard in Rio de Janeiro, the ceremony of the technical launching of the submarine Tonelero (S42) of the Riachuelo/Scorpène type took place. This is the third of four ordered conventional units of the modified French design. The ceremony was attended by, among others, the Presidents of Brazil and France, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Emmanuel Macron.

Photos: Brazilian Ministry Of Defense

The highest authorities of both countries were accompanied by the Brazilian Minister of Defense, José Mucio Monteiro Filho, and the Commander of the Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil), Rear Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen. Among the invited guests were also: Minister of Foreign Affairs Mauro Vieira, Minister of Ports and Airports Silvio Costa Filho, Special Advisor to the President of Brazil Celso Amorim, Secretary of State for Defense Equipment at the Ministry of Defense Rui Chagas Mesquita, President of the shipyard company Itaguaí Construções Navais Renaud Poyet, as well as other military and civilian authorities.

President Lula pointed out that the PROSUB program for building new submarines guarantees Brazilian maritime sovereignty, promotes job creation, and introduces innovations. Minister José Mucio emphasized the benefits of the project beyond the country’s security, stating that the defense industry sector accounts for approximately 2.9 million jobs and represents 4.78% of our GDP. In 2023, defense-related exports were 127% higher than in 2022, reaching the second-best results since monitoring began in 2001.

The keel for Tonelero (S42) was laid on January 13, 2015. The prototype Riachuelo (S 40) entered service in September 2022, while the second vessel, Humaitá (S 41), was commissioned on January 12, 2024. It is expected that the fourth and final vessel, Angostura (S43), will be launched by the end of 2025. The third and fourth vessels are expected to enter service in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

The vessels are being constructed locally by the shipbuilding group Construtora Norberto Odebrecht (CNO) as part of the PROSUB program (Programa de Desenvolvimento de SUBmarinos) based on a contract with the French company DCNS (now Naval Group) from 2009, valued at 9.9 billion USD.

The Brazilian version of the Scorpène, designated as S-BR, has the largest dimensions among the available variants: 75 meters in length and 2000 tons displacement. For comparison, the CM-2000 variant for Chile and Malaysia (two vessels each) measures 67.4 meters and displaces 1738 tons, while the AM-2000 variant known as Kalvari for India (six planned vessels) is 67.5 meters long with a displacement of 1775 tons. Naval Group also offers a smaller, yet-to-be-produced variant called Scorpène 1000, with a length of 50 meters and a displacement of 1000 tons.

Work has also begun on the first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine, SN-BR, which will be named Álvaro Alberto (SN-10). It will measure 100 meters in length and displace 6000 tons, and is expected to enter service in 2032. It will essentially be an enlarged Scorpène with a new propulsion system.


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