The Brazilian Navy has achieved a significant milestone in the Prosub submarine development programme after Nuclebrás Heavy Equipment delivered the final section of the pressure hull of the first conventional submarine (S-BR1).
Itaguaí Construção Naval (ICN) received the pressure hull, marking the completion of the first phase of construction of the submarine, Riachuelo.
Composed of structurally reinforced cylindrical sections, the pressure hull will withstand the maximum operating pressure of the submarine.
With this delivery, all sections of the pressure hull will now move to the next phase of equipment and systems installation.
In 2008, Brazil and France signed a $4.25bn contract for the construction of four enlarged Scorpene-class S-BR submarines, which is jointly designed by Spain's Navantia and DCNS.
The submarines under this programme will be developed to meet particular specifications of the Brazilian Navy and will feature conventional diesel-electric propulsion and will not be equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems.
The 75m-long submarines will be designed for all types of missions, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, special operations and intelligence gathering.
With a displacement capacity of 2,000t, these submarines will be capable of accommodating a crew of 30 to 45.
The construction of the first S-BR is expected to be completed in late 2016 and is scheduled to enter service in mid-2018. The remaining three are due to be completed by 2022.
Brazil is also constructing five new submarines, including one atomic-powered vessel, to boost patrolling across the South American country's 8,500km coast.
The new submarines are expected to replace the navy's existing ageing fleet of five conventional vessels.
Construction on the nuclear submarine, named SNBR, is expected to commence in 2017 with its launch targeted for 2025.