BRASILIA, (BM) – The second Scorpene submarine, “Humaitá,” was officially launched at the Itaguaí Construçoes Navais shipyard in Brazil, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. Apart from the French shipbuilding company Naval Group representatives, the ceremony was attended by the Americans who sailed to Brazil on the newest, USS Vermont, Virginia Block IV attack submarine.
The launching ceremony for the second Brazilian Scorpèn took place on December 11, 2020, at the ICN shipyard, in the Brazilian President Jaír Bolsonaro. The event’s importance was raised by the company of the newest American Virginia Block IV submarine USS Vermont [SSN 792] and the US submarine forces commander, Vice Admiral Daryl Caudle.
As it turns out, the Americans are very interested in the possibilities of new Brazilian submarines, getting closer to being put into service. The first of them, “Riachuelo,” is just ending sea trials, and the American Virginia [the latest one that was transferred to the US Navy – April 18, 2020, and the first in the Block IV version] may be related to this. American submarines need the Brazilian Scorpèn’s acoustic signature for their database.
This is why US Navy units always appear where completely new submarines are tested. This could be the case, for example, in August 2020, when the American Seawolf began to sail in the Norwegian Sea at the time when the first French Barracuda [“Suffren”] and the Russian Jasień-M [“Kazan”] were tested. The newest Virginia could also come to Brazil for the same purpose. Thanks to this, Americans will assess the extent to which the Naval Group’s technology transfer has been completed.
“It is an honor to visit the newest submarine base in Brazil and see for yourself the success of the Brazilian Navy in the Brazilian submarine development program [PRO SUB] by building BNS” Riachuelo, “BNS” Humaitá “and BNS” Tonelero. ” PRO SUB plays an essential role in strengthening our bilateral relations and the overall foundations of regional security. We will continue to work closely together to achieve our common goals to improve our combined submarine effectiveness,” Vice Admiral Daryl Caudle – Commander of the US Underwater said.
Americans are even more interested in the fact that, under the Brazilian PRO SUB program, are not only four diesel-electric submarines to be built, but also the first nuclear-powered nuclear strike submarine “Álvaro Alberto,” constructed in Brazil. The American industry is looking for an opportunity to propose cooperation in creating the first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine.
Thanks to France and Brazil’s strategic cooperation agreement, the PRO SUB program has only been feasible, concluded in December 2008. This agreement’s direct result was a contract concluded in 2009 by the Naval Group and the Brazilian Navy for the transfer of technology needed to build four Scorpène submarines and the design and assistance in producing the non-nuclear part of the first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine. The contract also provided for service in constructing a shipyard in Brazil, prepared to execute the entire order, and a sea base prepared to receive the Scorpèns.
According to the current plans, BNS “Riachuelo” is to enter service in the second half of 2021, and BNS “Humaitá” in the second half of 2022. All sections of the third such vessel, “Tonelero,” have already been transported to the assembly hall at the ICN shipyard [Itaguaí Construções Navais] in Sepetiba Bay [in Itaguai], where they are merging. In contrast, the sections of the fourth vessel, “Angostura,” are being completed at the UFEM metal works [Unidade de Fabricação de Estruturas Metálicas] in the city of Itaguaí, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Tonelero is to be launched in December 2021 and handed over two years later. The Angostura will be lowered into the water in December 2022 and handed over in the second half of 2024.
In the ICN shipyard itself, which was built with the French’s help, especially for the PRO SUB program, not only the construction of submarines, but their subsequent maintenance will take place. It will also be a site for shipbuilding support for surface ships and the construction of new vessels for the Brazilian Navy: anti-mine, hydrographic, patrol and icebreakers.
This is the third such primary transfer of submarine construction technology for the Naval Group. In the meantime, the program to build six Scorpens at the Mumbai shipyard for Indian naval forces is about to end, and a plan to build twelve Shortfin Barracuda submarines for the Australian Navy is preparing.
Scorpenes built in Brazil are different from those made in India. The basic design of the ship was subordinated to the needs of the Brazilian Navy. Riachuelo units will therefore be longer than their Indian counterparts. This is to allow, among others, to take an enormous reserve of fuel related to Brazilians’ greater autonomy [over 80 days – which results, among others, from the very long coastline of Brazil]. Also, the technologies introduced on Riachuelo units are to ensure the ability to stay at Sea for a minimum of 240 days a year. It will be possible thanks to a particular logistic support program.
The Brazilian Scorpenes will be 72 m long and have an underwater displacement of 2,000 tons. Riachuelo moves at a submerged speed of over 20 knots, even below 350 m. Due to automation, the crew is only 35 people. Both in India and Brazil, the ships are armed with six 533 mm torpedo tubes. The boat can take 18 rounds of ammunition – torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
The French have offered: neither India nor Brazil, MdCN maneuvering missiles, even though the Scorpens are technically prepared to launch them. This variant of armament has been provided only to the Polish Navy as part of the “Orka” program. Poland has not taken advantage of this offer until today.
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