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Brazil’s 1st Scorpene submarine S40 Riachuelo moved to final assembly site

On January 13 and 14, the Brazilian Navy (Marinha do Brasil) and the company Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) transferred the first of three sections of the S40 "Riachuelo" submarine to the final assembly line, on Madeira Island, in the Itaguaí Naval Complex. S40 Riachuelo is Brazil's first Scorpene type submarine of the Submarine Development Program (PROgrama de SUBmarinos PROSUB) .

S40 Riachuelo Scorpene Submarine Brazil 1S40 Submarine entry into the Main Hall of the construction site. Brazilian Navy picture

The five-kilometer journey was completed in 11 hours, starting at the Steel Structures Manufacturing Unit (UFEM), which is also located in Itaguaí, Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The logistics operation required a months planning and included the withdrawal of stretches of the electricity grid. On day 14, the most complex stage of the operation occurred, with occasional traffic interruptions, to give passage to the 320-wheeled special vehicle that transported the 619 tons of the three sections, with 39.86 meters of length and 12.30 meters in height.

The two remaining sections of the Riachuelo, weighing 487 tonnes and measuring 30 meters, will soon be transferred separately to the Construction Shipyard, where the submarine will enter final assembly, with the aim of being launched into the sea in the second half of 2018.

S40 Riachuelo Scorpene Submarine Brazil 2S40 Submarine entry into the Main Hall of the construction site. Brazilian Navy picture

The PROSUB program calls for three more conventional units (Humaita S41, Tonelero S42 and Ango Stura S43) and the first Brazilian submarine with nuclear propulsion (SSN). French company Naval Group covers the design, production, and technology transfer required for four Scorpène-class conventional submarines, and the design assistance and production of the non-nuclear part of the SSN.

In service date for S40 is set for 2020 (three years later than planned).

The Scorpène-class was also selected by the navies of Chile, Malaysia and India. 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.