Brazililian Navy commissions Riachuelo-class submarine Riachuelo

According to information published by the Brazilian MoD on September 1, 2022, the Brazilian Navy has officially commissioned the Riachuelo-class (Scorpene class) submarine Riachuelo.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Brazilian Riachuelo class submarine Riachuelo (Picture source: Brazilian MoD)

Due to several technologies and innovations, the "Riachuelo" Class submarines (S-BR) are more versatile than the Tupi Class submarines (Tupi, Tamoio, Timbira and Tapajó) and are considered operationally superior to several submarines available in the world today.

They have advanced sensors - such as a sonar array and periscopes with night vision cameras - and a combat management system equipped with modern and complex algorithms that allow the submarine to detect and classify targets at long distances. The S-BR also has greater autonomy than its "Scorpène" class ancestor, due to a design change that included a midsection to increase accommodation and water tanks.

Through a technology transfer process, the construction of the S-BRs is being carried out by Brazilian labor (engineers and technicians) with technical assistance from the French company Naval Group.

The Nationalization Program has already qualified around forty Brazilian companies for the manufacture of submarine components, in more than one hundred projects, the main ones being: the manufacture of the salt water valves by the company Micromazza, the manufacture of the batteries by the company NewPower and the manufacture of the strut bearing by the company Miba.

For the construction of the Brazilian conventional submarines and, in the future, the Conventionally Armed Submarine with Nuclear Propulsion "Álvaro Alberto", a naval complex was built in Itaguaí that has several facilities, equipment, and specialized systems.

It is one of the most modern shipyards in existence, since the construction of submarines requires highly skilled labor and an industrial park equipped to enable the execution of the various manufacturing, commissioning, and testing activities. All this requires the integration of sophisticated technologies, following rigorous norms and standards of quality and safety.

Training the first crew

The training of the first crew lasted about two years and four months and was divided into three stages: preliminary, onshore, and onboard. In the preliminary training, the crew was submitted to theoretical exams and individual interviews. A Preliminary Training Plan was also prepared, executed by the Centro de Instrução e Adestramento Almirante Áttila Monteiro Aché.

The onshore and onboard training phases were carried out by instructors from Défense Conseil International, which is a partner company of the French Ministry of Defense, responsible for the international transfer of its military know-how to the Armed Forces of friendly countries.

After the Armament Display, the Submarine "Riachuelo" will be submitted to the Commission of Inspection and Training Advisory, which will guarantee its full employment capacity.

Afterward, it will undergo Operational Evaluation, an important process for the establishment of operational parameters, which will serve as a basis for all units of the class, foreseen in the PROSUB scope.

The population will be able to see the new ship during the Naval and Naval Aviation Parade, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro (RJ), on September 7. During the event, three aircraft and 20 ships from the MB and other countries invited to the celebrations of the Bicentennial of Independence will run along the waterfront, starting at 9:30 a.m., starting at Recreio beach and ending at the Copacabana Fort.

Basic characteristics of the Riachuelo

The Submarine Riachuelo has a total length of 70.62 meters, hull diameter of 6.2 meters, surface displacement of 1,740 tons, and immersion displacement of 1,900 tons.

Its combat system is equipped with six gun tubes, capable of launching heavy electro-acoustic torpedoes, tactical missiles of the submarine-surface type, and bottom mines.

The Riachuelo will be the seventh Navy ship to receive this name, in honor of the Naval Battle of Riachuelo, which occurred on June 11, 1865, during the Triple Alliance War.

Besides the Submarine Riachuelo, the MB owns the Submarines Tupi, Tamoio, Timbira, and Tapajó, of the "Tupi" Class, and the Submarine Tikuna, of the Class of the same name.

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