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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