Brazil to Build Nuclear Submarine with France’s Help

France's Scorpene submarine The Defense minister of Brazil, Nelson Jobim, announced Monday, December 22, an agreement with France for the construction of a nuclear submarine. Jobim said France would help build a yard in Rio de Janeiro, in southeast Brazil, for the assembling of four conventional Scorpène submarines and one nuclear powered.

The announcement coincides with President Nicholas Sarkozy two-day visit to Brazil in his double role as EU rotating president and leader of France.

"In twenty years time we will be receiving the nuclear submarine with full technology transfer and with Brazilian engineers trained in French factories and yards," said Jobim.

The Brazilian navy has been working for almost three decades in the development of a nuclear powered submarine.

The purpose of the submarine is to patrol the coastline between the cities of Santos, Sao Paulo's main port and Brazil's largest and Vitória in the state of Espí­rito Santo, an area where in 2007 was discovered an oil and gas basin estimated to hold reserves equivalent to 50 billion barrels.

Jobim said the yard in Rio do Janeiro will be privately built and managed and 20 years later will be handed over to the government.

Defense issues are top of the agenda of Tuesday's bilateral meetings between presidents Sarkozy and Lula. On Monday both leaders also met but in the framework of the EU-Brazil summit.

Besides submarines the Brasilia-Paris agreement includes 50 helicopters for which Brazil is expected to pay US$ 1.9 billion, revealed Jobim.

At the beginning of the year Minister Jobim traveled to Paris to begin talks on a strategic agreement in Defense issues, which was later advanced during a bilateral meeting of Lula and Sarkozy at the French Guyana.

Lula said on Monday that Brazil's Defense industry "had been dismantled and must be reorganized. It's a long term project, not something to be achieved in two days or two years."

The recovery and reactivation of Brazil's Defense industry with French technology is one of the goals of Brazil's Strategic Defense Plan which was presented last week.

"A country with the dimension of Brazil, which has discovered huge oil reserves, that must defend its Amazon, must have a Defense strategy, not thinking about war, but thinking of guaranteeing and protecting its patrimony," said Lula da Silva.

The Submarine

France promised earlier this year to help Brazil build the Scorpène attack submarine, a conventional diesel-powered vessel that Brazilian officials hope will help them develop Latin America's first nuclear-propelled submarine.

They said it would protect Brazil's large offshore oil reserves and exploration platforms. In South America Chile already has two Scorpène submersibles.

Brazil in 1979 began a formal program to develop a nuclear submarine and the administration of Lula last year announced US$ 540 million in new funding for the program and for uranium enrichment efforts.

Brazil's Foreign Ministry said the two presidents will also sign agreements on sustainable development and protection of the Amazon rain forest and in education, science and nuclear energy.

European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso told the private Agência Estado news agency that the leaders also should discuss ways to revive the Doha Round of world trade talks that collapsed in July after countries such as India and Brazil rebuffed an offer by the U.S. and Europe to gradually reduce farm subsidies in exchange for lower tariffs on food imports by developing countries.

Barroso is also expected to give his support for Brazil's push for larger emerging economies to have a greater say in building the world's future financial architecture, according to a commission spokesman.

Another issue in the EU-Brazil agenda is bio-fuel of which Brazil is the world's second producer, behind the US, particularly in light of Europe's drive to increase the proportion of its vehicles powered by ethanol.

On a more political level Brazil's goal of joining the UN Security Council as a permanent member is expected to be addressed. Brazil counts with the support from Britain, France and Germany, but also has to contend with opposition from Italy and Spain.



  • Show Comments (5)

  • Eduardo Feitosa

    The Haters
    Some people can’t stand the fact Brazil is growing, sayin’stupid jokes and laughin’after that. Only a HATER can do that. Remember before WW2 USA was just a small player, luckly and with the help and support of countries like England and France, they started developin’new tech armament. Don’t Hate Folks !!!

  • Major

    There’s more homework to be done
    Brazil has increased its spending on housing over the last two years…to over 900,000.
    Roads aren’t easy to build in Brazil, but improving road structure is part of their national strategy of tying the southeast with the northwest.
    Brazil needs to capitalize on its global economic success to further their domestic agenda.
    As far as the military modernization…under the DIMEFIL model, military is still considered an tool of national power, albeit less important than it once was with “globalization” and all, but as long as it is perceived to be important to the Brazilians, it’s going to happen.
    APC upgrades, movement of troops the the Amazon borders, new jet fighters, subs, redefining conscription…
    Anyone who laughs at the 4th fastest growing world economy (see Ch. C comments) is funny himself.

  • forrest allen brown


    the US had many war toys but did not spend the money on them as it was at piece .

    what we did was build schools , roads , feed our people , make safe dringing water .

    make drugs to kill polio . TB . Chicken pocks , finished off the work on penicline .

    only when forced did the US plan for war , and gain the right through knolaged gained by years of thought
    did we build the bomb and necular subs .

    brasil like so many 3 world countries buy there technoligy from the ones whom would sell it to them
    and have no rsepct for the might they now may be the owner as they did not earn it .

    just starved a few million of there own people .
    did not give scholling to a few million more .
    did not build or maintain ther road system
    denied health care to thoes whom need it .
    it is such a long list and we all know it .


  • ch.c.

    brasil will yet again make yet another deal for arms for there big gun
    Ohhh sure !
    They may as well also buy 100’000 Kalashnikovs just as Venezuela did !
    POWERFUL ???? Hmmmmm.
    Some of these guns will later be found by the thousands in Brazilians favelas !

    At least Noooo submarine, nuclear or not, will be found there, or in brazilians schools just like hand guns are found
    everywhere in your country !

    Quite funny to read “In twenty years time we will be receiving the nuclear submarine with full technology transfer and with Brazilian engineers trained in French factories and yards,”
    Does anyone believe that in 20 years, today existing technology will be the most advanced ? Of course not…and YOU wont have it.

    And somewehat laughable to read “The Brazilian navy has been working for almost three decades in the development of a nuclear powered submarine.”

    Nowhere of course.
    Otherwise you would not buy French submarines technologies…by definition !!!!!
    Proof that Brazil is unable to develop any type of technology…even after 3 decades of works !
    Hmmmmm !!!!!!!

    Laugh…laugh…laugh…laugh….laugh…laugh…laugh !

  • forrest allen brown

    yet again with the target boat
    one boat is a show not a force .

    the money should be spent on the school system .

    better roads , sewer systems .

    not some boat for a show of brasil so called force to hold the rest of SA
    at the point of a gun ,

    and what type of arms will it carry ?
    brasil will yet again make yet another deal for arms for there big gun

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