The Brazilian Navy and construction firm Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) have transferred the first three sections of the navy’s lead Scorpene submarine, Riachuelo (S40), to the final assembly hall at the Madeira Island shipyard.

S40 represents the first vessel of the navy’s submarine development programme (PROSUB), which is also expected to involve the development of three other conventional boats, as well as the first Brazilian submarine with nuclear propulsion.

All of the three sections were transferred to the shipyard in the Itaguaí Naval Complex after completing an 11-hour journey from the Steel Structures Manufacturing Unit (UFEM), also located in Itaguaí, Rio de Janeiro.

The logistics operation was carried out after a month-long planning period and included the removal of certain stretches of the electricity grid.

"The logistics operation was carried out after a month-long planning period and included the removal of certain stretches of the electricity grid."

The three sections of the Riachuelo submarine weighed a combined 619t, measuring 39.86m in length and 12.30m in height.

A further two sections, weighing 487t and measuring 30m, are slated to be transferred separately to the construction shipyard in the near future.

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The Riachuelo submarine will enter the final assembly phase upon the delivery of all five sections.

The diesel-electric ship is scheduled to be launched into the sea during the second half of this year.

It is scheduled to enter into service in 2020, which is nearly three years later than originally planned, reported Naval Today.

Riachuelo (S40) is the first of four vessels set to be constructed for the navy under an agreement that was originally signed between the French Naval Group, formerly DCNS, and Brazil in 2008.

The other three Scorpene submarines will be named Humaita (S41), Tonelero (S42) and Ango Stura (S43) and are currently at different stages of development at UFEM.