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Brazil Commissions New Riachuelo-Class Submarine

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The Brazilian Navy has commissioned the Humaitá (S-41), a diesel-electric attack submarine, during a turnover ceremony at the Itaguaí Naval Complex in Rio de Janeiro.

Part of four Riachuelo-class submarines, the Humaitá is the second to be handed over to the navy under Brazil’s Submarine Development Program to modernize the country’s subsurface capabilities in partnership with France.

The four-submarine deal was signed between the Brazilian Navy and France’s Naval Group. Each of the vessels is estimated to cost around $1 billion.

The submarine entered construction in 2013 and was launched in 2020. The remaining Riachuelo-class subs are set to be delivered in 2025 and 2026.

Riachuelo’s Capabilities

Slightly larger than their French counterparts, the Riachuelo-class submarines are 70.6 meters (232 feet) long and 6 meters (20 feet) wide and have a displacement of 1,900 tons (3.8 million pounds).

The submarines can reach 21 knots (24 miles/39 kilometers per hour) and stay operational for 70 days straight.

They are equipped with cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, heavy torpedoes, and naval mines.

Nuclear Variant

Brazil’s first nuclear-powered attack submarine, Álvaro Alberto, is a modified variant of the Riachuelo-class.

It is also currently under construction alongside its sister ships, the Tonelero (S-42) and Angostura (S-43).

Priced at around $7 billion, the Álvaro Alberto will have a 48-megawatt pressurized water reactor and a nuclear turbo-electric engine.

The vessels will patrol more than 4 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles) of Brazilian waters.

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