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Brazil progresses nuclear submarine project

2nd December 2021 - 16:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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Brazil's four Riachuelo-class submarines (pictured) will be joined by a single SSN. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

French shipbuilder Naval Group is providing technical assistance across all aspects of the future SSN except for the nuclear reactor.

On 25 November, Brazil signed a licence agreement to start building the hull of its future nuclear-powered submarine. Issuing the licence meets one of the programme prerequisites, allowing for a contract to be let and the start of hull production.

The nuclear submarine is part of Brazil’s ambitious PROSUB project to develop and domestically build four diesel-electric powered Riachuelo-class submarines and the country’s first nuclear-powered boat.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the future SSN, Álvaro Alberto, is expected to be commissioned in 2034 and will likely cost $2.4 billion to produce.

In November 2020, the Brazilian Navy approved the basic design for the future SSN. The nominal timeline could see the country field a nuclear-powered submarine before Australia commissions its first planned SSNs under development following the signing of the AUKUS agreement.

In December 2020, Brazil launched its second Riachuelo-class submarine, Humaitá, at a ceremony attended by President Jair Bolsonaro.

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