Military Review

Nuclear submarine for Brazil

Currently, only six countries in the world possess submarines with nuclear power plants. Despite the relatively widespread use of nuclear power, not all countries were able to install a nuclear reactor on a submarine. In early July, appeared news regarding the attempts of another state to join the "Premier League Club".

The seventh country having atomic submarines can be Brazil. Talk about the beginning of the development of its own submarine in this country has been going on for several years, but now it seems that the Brazilians have moved from words to deeds. In early July in Sao Paulo, in the Technology Center of the Brazilian Navy held a solemn ceremony dedicated to the beginning of the project. It is worth noting that the project of the first Brazilian nuclear submarine will be implemented not independently. The program involves the French organization DCNS, known for its projects of underwater technology. In addition, Brazilian private organizations will take on some of the responsibilities during the project.

The first reports of Brazil’s intention to arm its navy with a submarine with a nuclear power plant began to arrive in the 2008 year. Then the military and political leadership of the country was limited to general statements about the need for such equipment and exemplary purposes for which it is needed. It was argued that the nuclear submarine fleet needs Brazil to patrol the territorial waters and adjacent areas of the ocean. In addition, new boats should protect research vessels and platforms that are engaged in mineral exploration on the ocean floor. At the same time, the approximate dates for the construction of boats were announced for the first time - the lead ship was to enter service only after 2020.

After those statements, a lot of time passed, but new information appeared in extremely scarce quantities. So, there is not fully verified information about the "origin" of the project. A number of sources claim that the basis of the Brazilian nuclear submarines will be the French diesel-electric submarines of the Scorpène project. This fact alone raises a lot of questions, if only for the reason that to convert a diesel-electric boat into an atomic one will have to change the mass of systems and structural elements. It is obvious that Brazil alone will not be able to cope with this. Therefore, even the processing of an existing project requires the involvement of foreign shipbuilders. As for France, the draft of the new nuclear submarine will be useful to her. The fact is that the French Navy has only one type of multipurpose nuclear submarine - Rubis. The head submarine of the project was included in the composition fleet back in 1983, and the whole series can no longer be called modern. France is currently building three boats of a similar purpose, belonging to the new Barracuda project, but they will not go on service until 2015. Accordingly, the joint development of a multi-purpose nuclear submarine for Brazil may spur work on boats for France’s own needs or even lead to the creation of an updated Barracuda project, which will take into account a number of operational features, etc.

The version on the use of Scorpène boats as a basis for a new project did not appear from scratch. Back in the nineties, France completely abandoned diesel-electric submarines, and the newest project of this class of submarines, which turned out to be Scorpène, was made exclusively for export. In this case, "Scorpion" was developed by DCNS. Obviously, such a set of facts could only lead to one conclusion. Unless, of course, a submarine for Brazil will really be made on the basis of an existing project. As for the class of the Brazilian boat, it is very likely that it will be a “hunter”. Currently, nuclear submarines are used only in three versions: they carry ballistic missiles with nuclear charges, are armed with torpedoes and / or missiles, and are also equipped with cruise missiles. Brazil has not yet been seen in the development of strategic missiles for submarines, and there is not much success with cruise missiles in this country. Therefore, there remains only the class "submarine nuclear torpedo" - PLAT. In addition, it is precisely such weapons that the Scorpène basic boats also possess.

As always happens when creating and implementing such programs, one of the main problems is the economic side. So far, Brazil wants to get only five nuclear submarines and pay 565 million US dollars for each. Until now, one interesting point about cost has not been clarified. Brazilian officials did not tell whether the 565 million included design costs or not. But at the event 6 July, a lot was said about the timing. The draft of the boat will be prepared for the 2015 year, after which another six years will be allocated for construction. Thus, the lead ship will be launched just at the end of this decade. After the end of construction, two or three years will be spent on testing the boat. Therefore, the first Brazilian submarine will be operational in 2023-25. Other submarines will follow.

Brazilian plans for the development of new technologies, of course, laudable. But, reading the news, it is difficult to get rid of one question: why? Currently, the South American region is fairly calm and stable. Major military conflicts are not foreseen in the near future, although some countries have claims against each other. It should not be forgotten that the Brazilian economy in recent years has shown good growth rates. If this trend continues, after 2020, we will be able to observe something similar to what happened to China 15-20 years ago. Brazil “on the sly” will grow in economic and political sense to such an extent that it will become the leading state of its continent. Well, a strong economy, by definition, can not be defended by a strong army. Already, a large part of Brazil’s exports and imports go by sea, which need military cover. In this case, the announced project of the nuclear submarine will become a kind of trial ball, which will give tangible results only in the future. In an even more distant future, Brazil may try to become a new superpower. It is unlikely that local politicians are making such ambitious plans for such remote times, but the creation of a nuclear submarine right now will definitely not be superfluous.

As we see, the elite club of the countries possessing nuclear submarines in the coming years can be replenished. Moreover, several states will claim the title of new members of this club. First of all, of course, Brazil, whose plans have recently become a specific program. A few weeks ago, the candidates were almost not recorded Iran. First, the representatives of the Islamic Republic Navy spoke about their plans for nuclear warships and submarines, but then the head of the Iranian nuclear program F. Abbasi denied these statements, saying that there were no shipbuilding projects in his plan. Other applicants for entry into the "APL-club" are South Korea, South Africa, as well as some European countries.

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  1. damba
    damba 8 August 2012 09: 39
    What kind of nuclear submarine will be we will find out. and this is exactly why the French will help to build it. This is the question, by the way, we could ask us as partners in the BRICS, we would build them a half-Ash tree, they would kiss our hands later. At the worst, they would give a signal to the Chinese, they would build a head submarine in two or three years and it would be cheaper and faster.
  2. Tirpitz
    Tirpitz 8 August 2012 09: 40
    What are these European countries? Ukraine and Poland? laughing
    1. Paratov
      Paratov 8 August 2012 12: 49
      Quote: Tirpitz

      What are these European countries? Ukraine and Poland

      Germany is most likely. Other applicants, given the economic situation, is hard to imagine.
    2. Morgan stanley
      Morgan stanley 8 August 2012 17: 23
      Quote: Tirpitz

      Ukraine just the same can do it without any problems, but there will be no sense in it, and the budget is still small.
      And so, according to the article, it kills a little:
      Brazil's plans to absorb new technologies are undoubtedly commendable. But, reading the news, it is difficult to get rid of one question: why?

      That would roll B.L. * at.b. Brazil is not Bolivia, and in a couple of years it will play an important role in the world, so it is necessary for it.
  3. Sakhalininsk
    Sakhalininsk 8 August 2012 09: 41
    The next news about the submarine fleet development projects in South America will most likely be the news about preparations for the construction of nuclear submarines by Argentina.
  4. Evrepid
    Evrepid 8 August 2012 13: 17
    Yes, the article makes you think!
    Brazilians should remember which side the French were on during the conflict between Argentina and England and what the French did.
    1. Evrepid
      Evrepid 21 August 2012 18: 19
      I do not understand the reasons for the minus?
      What has passed several years since the war and everyone has forgotten?
      or is something wrong?
      Or as if something has changed dramatically and there will not be a repeat of the situation?

      Or is it marks from idiots (not remembering the lessons of history)
  5. Kars
    Kars 8 August 2012 13: 20
    And historically, Brazil and Argentina tried to have modern ships at the moment. At the beginning of the 20th century, they were dreadnoughts, at the end of aircraft carriers, and now nuclear submarines. It was unclear just what they pulled. Moreover, the Brazilian economy is one of the fastest growing, huge territory, huge coastal line.
  6. igor67
    igor67 8 August 2012 14: 10
    Quote: Kars
    aircraft carriers

    I read a long time ago like the Brazilians had problems with deck aircraft, for an old man an aircraft carrier, it seems like they bought old piston airplanes in the states. And if this memory doesn’t change my memory (about airplanes) was here last year. is it interesting that something changed?
  7. Kars
    Kars 8 August 2012 14: 18
    Quote: igor67
    The Brazilians had problems with deck aircraft, for an old man an aircraft carrier, like

    Well, how can I say they bought a vet and an aircraft carrier also bought from the French. And so I was not particularly interested in them, perhaps it’s more profitable for Brazilian piston seats.
    1. Eugene
      Eugene 8 August 2012 14: 24
      What happened to them with the Skyhawks? The resource and spare parts are over? However, now you don’t have to choose for such ships - the Hariera - will soon fall apart too, F-35 - at the price of lunar soil. Under the MiG, I give my head for clipping - we need modernization and a serious one, and also not worth 3 kopecks.

      Only what for it with piston then?
  8. IRBIS
    IRBIS 8 August 2012 15: 22
    The question of the need for the Brazilian Navy nuclear submarines rather rhetorical. This region is now relatively calm. What will be tomorrow? And this unpredictable tomorrow must be met with dignity. Well done, what else can you say, are seeing in the future. How many people can suddenly like the Amazonian jungle or don’t like the state of democracy in the country? enough in the world!
  9. itr
    itr 8 August 2012 15: 26
    strange Brazil voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons. Well, did she need a nuclear submarine for ???? For what ?????
    And the submarine will be called Sharman damn
  10. lelikas
    lelikas 8 August 2012 15: 57
    There is oil in Brazil - apparently they also do not want to democratize.
    1. Civil
      Civil 8 August 2012 18: 50
      in Brazil there is a whole table of prof. Mendeleev, because the nuclear submarines are needed to avoid democracy
      1. Common sense
        Common sense 11 August 2012 14: 00
        In Brazil, and so there is democracy, so that all your truisms gleaned from the first channel with reality correlate no more than any other schizophrenia.
  11. Warik
    Warik 8 August 2012 17: 28
    Brazil is the clear leader of Latin America, and the powerful leader has a powerful legged weapon. In the emerging multipolar world, the poles must be strong, so strong that American unipolarity continues to deflate and weaken.
  12. CARBON
    CARBON 8 August 2012 21: 36
    A gingerbread truck rolled over on French Street! First Mistral for Russia, now nuclear submarine for the Brazilians. So far, people have not been able to come up with anything more expensive than the fleet, of course, an operational fleet. Only the submarine is just the tip, we also need: a base, trained crews, refueling, repairs, just daily operation, if Brazil pulls this flag in their hands. In my opinion, Brazil directly or indirectly belongs to American capital, so that apart from prestige there is no sense in buying them, all the more they will defend themselves against dermocratizers. An attempt in this way to gain experience in the construction of nuclear submarines is also nonsense, there is a wonderful example of the Indians, they operated for 670 for two years in 1988-1990, and only in 2012 they launched the first Archiant)