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Brazilian Navy Commissions Riachuelo-class Submarine Humaitá (S41)

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Brazilian Navy Commissions Riachuelo-class Submarine Humaitá (S41)

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Brazilian Navy Commissions Riachuelo-class Submarine Humaitá (S41)
Brazilian Navy Commissions Riachuelo-class Submarine Humaitá (S41)

The Brazilian Navy officially commissioned its second Riachuelo-class conventional submarine, named Humaitá (S41), on January 12th at the Madeira Island Submarine Base. This marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing Submarine Development Program (PROSUB), a strategic initiative aimed at fortifying Brazil’s naval strength and technological prowess. Developed as part of a collaborative effort with France, the Riachuelo-class submarines are a testament to the success of international partnerships in fostering defense capabilities. Humaitá is the fifth boat and the third submarine of the Brazilian Navy to receive this name, in honor of a military operation, which took place in 1868, in the Paraguayan War.

The Humaitá, powered by diesel-electric propulsion, underwent rigorous Acceptance Tests both in port and at sea, demonstrating its readiness to commence operational duties in the Brazilian Fleet. The incorporation of the Humaitá into the Submarine Force is anticipated to significantly enhance Brazil’s combat power in naval defense, playing a pivotal role in “denying the use of the sea.” Furthermore, the submarine will contribute to the nation’s deterrence power and serve as a vital instrument in supporting Brazil’s foreign policy objectives. The ceremony also marked the signing of the Submarine Armament Agreement, formalizing the incorporation of the Humaitá into the Navy and its transfer to the Operational Sector of the Navy. This agreement further solidifies the collaborative efforts between the Brazilian Navy, the Ministry of Defense, and the private sector represented by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN).

Brazilian Navy Riachuelo-class Submarine Humaitá (S41)
Brazilian Navy Riachuelo-class Submarine Humaitá (S41). (Photo by Marinha do Brasil)

The Riachuelo class are a Brazilian class of diesel-electric and nuclear-powered attack submarines developed by the state-owned shipyard Itaguaí Construções Navais, based on the French Scorpène class as part of the Submarine Development Program (PROSUB), a naval modernization plan of the Brazilian Armed Forces. As the PROSUB and activities related to other submarines and the SCPN continue to progress, the commissioning of the second Riachuelo-class submarine signifies a crucial milestone for Brazil’s Strategic Defense Programs. With its advanced technology and operational capabilities, the Humaitá contributes to positioning Brazil as a key player in the maritime defense landscape.

The first stage of construction of the Humaitá took place in September 2013 in Brazil, at the headquarters of ICN in Itaguaí, with the cutting of the first steel plates of the structure. Another two submarines, S Tonelero (S42) and S Angostura (S43) are under construction at CNI by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) for delivery in 2025 and 2026. The Brazilian boats are larger in length, tonnage and cargo capacity compared to the original French project. The Brazilian version are 70.62 m (231 ft 8 in) and 1,900 tons, compared to the original Scorpènes that are 61.7 m (202 ft 5 in) and 1,565 tons. Humaitá can carry 35 crew and has six 533 mm launch tubes firing either Naval Group F21 heavy weight torpedoes or MBDA Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 missiles.

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