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Brazil Takes First Step to Build Own Nuclear Submarine

France's submarine Scorpène Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff presided, on Sunday, July 17, over a ceremony in Itaguaí, metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, where four submarines will be built.

The conventional (non-nuclear) submarines, Scorpène class (S-BR), are part of a technology contract signed with France in 2009. By 2014, a dry dock at Itaguaí will be completed and the actual construction begin.

“The construction of these submarines is part of strategic positioning by Brazil that will strengthen domestic industrial capacity and make our workers more skilled. It is also a demonstration of our willingness to build international alliances,” declared the president.

According to Navy spokespersons, more than 36,000 items used in the construction of the submarines will be manufactured by 30 Brazilian firms, from electricity control boards to hydraulic pumps to combat and control centers to electrical and diesel motors to batteries with large-scale storage capacity.

The construction of the four conventional submarines is a step on the way to the final objective of the Brazilian Navy’s Submarine Development Program (Prosub): eventually building a nuclear submarine (SN-BR) by the year 2023, with a Brazilian-made nuclear reactor.

That will put Brazil into the select company of a very few other nations, China, England, France, Russia and the United States, with such technological ability.

“The merits of this partnership are technology transfer and a strategic alliance that will strengthen and advance the skills of our Navy and industrial sector, making it more modern and capable of defending the country. We seek nuclear propulsion only for defensive, never offensive, purposes,” declared president Rousseff.

Military Games

The Fifth World Military Games began on Saturday, July 16, in Rio de Janeiro with a ceremony at the João Havelange Olympic Stadium. A total of over 5,000 athletes from 111 countries will compete in 20 sports in games that will run until July 24.

The Opening Ceremony was led by president Dilma Rousseff who welcomed the athletes and declared the games open. The Olympic pyre was lit by Pelé, who participated in Military Games in 1959.

Brazil has enrolled 268 athletes in all 20 sports: 159 men and 109 women. In the Fourth World Military Games, in Hyderabad, India, Brazil came in 33rd place. But expectations are that this time the country will be in the top three. Some of the athletes representing Brazil in these Military Games are Olympic athletes.

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • Double-Dot

    [quote]Who is going to attack Brasilian oilwells?[/quote]

    The Chinese & their Zimbabwean allies, naturalmente, ole chap. They are hungry for our oil and other precious resources , in case you didn’t know. The French submarines are the best answer to defend our waters against those Oriental marauders. The French armaments are formidable and the entire world is aware of it.

  • Luigi Vercotti

    Woody Allen’s “Bananas”
    This whole topic is total comedy. Who is going to attack Brasilian oilwells? And if, say, Surinam was to sent a fleet of canoes to do so, the Americans operating the oilwells would just grab their shotguns and fend off the attack.

    The Russian subs are reknown for hitting the bottom, and the US subs are reknown for launching cruise missiles. The rest of the world just have fun driving them around and chest thumping. Brazil will spend gazillions achieving the Disney submarine ride status instead of helping its poor.

    Charming, as usual.

  • Ederson

    Brasil underwater
    Okay, let me be the first to admit I agree with Brasil building a nuclear submarine. Technology at any level is worthwhile, especially when it is associated with furthering the educational interests of Brasil’s youth and resources.
    However, I am sick of reading where Brasil might use such boats to help deter Brtain from the Malvinas or project its military power. What a truly stupid suggestion!
    The presence of the Brits so close to Argentia serves several purposes, all advantages to Brasil.;-) Secondly, the ownership of a nuclear submarine does not make one into a military power by any means. This is all just more chest thumping by a butch of near-sighted politicians. The idea that, somehow, a nuclear Brasilian submarine will protect any of Brasil’s off-shore oil assets is ridiculous. If the supposed dreaded Brits or Yanks need anything Brasil has, Brasil’s military will only serve as useful practice targets.

    The chest thumping points toward the Brits, the Yanks, and NATO, but the threat is probably much closer. Indeed, I believe those in the know are sure it is. Okay, submarines are cool and perhaps useful, at least for the technology, but if you must defend Brasil’s coasts and assets, there are perhaps far cheaper and more effective ways than curling up in the lap of a French arms salesman.
    Brasil must avoid the “WOW!” factor and measure the value of each and every arms purchase. It would be ridiculous to spend so much money for the limited capabilities of submarines when the the threat to an oil drilling platform will no doubt come from a cheap a-to-g missile. That alone speaks to the need for a well-rounded defense.
    Realistically, submarines are probably very good for Brasil, especially Brasilian submarines.;-) But enough of the chest thumping, and awareness must be maintained that Brasil’s home and civilian infrastructure must be enhanced and maintained as well. Brasil must look inward, too.

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