The Brazilian navy is planning to build and incorporate in the next decades a fleet of six nuclear powered and 20 conventional submersibles (15 new and five refurbished), making it the most dissuasive fleet of South America.
The navy’s three decade procurement plan and its program to develop submarines estimates the cost of building the first nuclear powered submarine in 2 billion Euros which already have been earmarked.
The first is always the dearest because of technology transfer and other capacities costs that must be paid to the French DCNS shipyard. However the costs of the following subs to be built in Brazil are estimated by the Brazilian Navy in 550 million US dollars.
President Lula da Silva is scheduled to visit in December the new facilities at the expanded Itaguí shipyard in Rio do Janeiro that will become home of the Brazilian submersibles industry, close to the new submarines base.
Conventional submarines will be built in two lots with a first batch of 15 new ones, of which four of them will be a reformed version of the French Scorpion with an additional 100 tons displacement and five metres longer.
The other five includes the current five submersibles that will be refurbished.
The five include four of the so called Tupi class based on German technology and a Tikuna class, which was developed by the Brazilian navy.
Currently the subs program has an order for four Scoroion under construction in France, a deal closed in 2008. The first one is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2016 and the rest in the period extending to 2021.
The Brazilian navy also reported that the Subs Development program means the integration of different branches.
One of them refers to having control over the whole uranium enrichment process to be used in the nuclear reactors: the uranium gas apparently is ready and has begun trials in the town of Iperó.
An estimated 40 tons annually can be produced once the plant begins full production next December. Total investment in the plant so far has been declared at 130 million USD.
Since discovering massive oil deposits offshore making Brazil a global oil and gas power, the country has been obsessed with protecting its resources,
President Lula da Silva launched an ambitious program to update and equip the three services, particularly the navy.