Naval Group Announces Launch of Third Brazilian Scorpène Submarine

(Image credit: Naval Group)

On March 27, 2024, the third of the four Scorpène® submarines of the ProSub program was launched at the Itaguaí Naval base, in presence of the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and French President Emmanuel Macron. The Tonelero has been built entirely in Brazil by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) thanks to years of successful technology transfer and partnership with Naval Group.

Only few weeks after the delivery of the Humaita, the Tonelero was successfully launched in Itaguaí and will soon start sea trials in order to be delivered in 2025. Angostura, the last submarine of the series will be launched in 2025.

The launching of the Tonelero demonstrates the success of the ProSub program which is a key extension of the French-Brazilian strategic defense cooperation agreement signed in 2008. This program not only provides the Brazilian Navy with new capabilities and contributes to its ambitious Amazonia Azul strategy, but it also enables Brazil to rely more and more on a sovereign national industrial base.

“The launching of the Tonelero is a major milestone for the Brazilian Navy, ICN, Naval Group and all our partners. This achievement is a result of our common work to make the ProSub program and its associated technology transfer a success. We are honored by the high level of confidence the Brazilian Navy has placed in our expertise, and we remain fully committed to supporting the needs of the Brazilian Navy and contributing to the development a strong Brazilian naval industry,” said Pierre Éric Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group.

Naval Group, a long-term strategic partner of Brazilian sovereignty

In 2009, the Brazilian Navy chose Naval Group for its “Programa de desenvolvimento de Submarinos”, the ProSub program. Brazil decided to reinforce its submarine force with four new conventional submarines (SSK) and the development of an indigenous nuclear-powered submarine (SSN).

The Scorpène submarines of the ProSub program are manufactured and assembled in the shipyard built in Itaguaí by ICN. Naval Group contributed to this program by transferring technology, supplying the submarine design file, the equipment that makes up the submarines and technical assistance to ICN. Teams from the ICN shipyard have also been trained in submarine construction techniques in France, as part of a vast training program for Brazilian welders, formers, pipe fitters and electricians. This training, along with technical assistance, enables ICN to master the entire production process, from sheet metal forming to commissioning and testing of onboard systems.

Naval Group has also selected and qualified many local suppliers who have joined its supply chain for the ProSub contract but also for other business opportunities. In this way, the company’s partners can have access to new markets by putting forward the know-how and experience acquired through the program. Naval Group thus contributes to the development of a robust Brazilian naval industrial ecosystem. Hundreds of Naval Group employees are also working in the back office on all French sites.

Naval Group also supports the Brazilian Navy in the design of the first Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine and will provide support beyond the construction of the submarines over the entire life cycle of the ships.

Scorpène, a key reference of conventional attack submarines for navies

Scorpène is a modern, high-performant, and stealthy submarine. Robust and enduring, it’s an ocean-going submarine also designed for shallow waters operations. Multipurpose, it fulfils the entire scope of missions such as Anti-Surface and Anti-Submarine Warfare, special operations, and intelligence gathering. Extremely stealthy and fast, it has a level of operating automation that allows a limited number of crew, which reduces its operating costs significantly. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes, 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles).

Scorpène is equipped with the latest generation of combat system, SUBTICS®, which addresses the growing challenges of modern submarines missions in blue and shallow waters in the entire domain of submarine warfare. Highly modular and scalable, SUBTICS can be integrated either on new platforms or as part of modernization programs for existing submarines

In addition to these four Scorpène submarines, ten other units designed and adapted by Naval Group for the export market are in operational service or under construction around the world: two for the Chilean Navy, two for the Malaysian Navy and six for the Indian Navy. These successes demonstrate both Naval Group’s ability to supply best-in-class submarines and to transfer technology successfully.

The final configuration of the submarine is adapted to meet the specific needs of navies and incorporate the latest innovations. For example, the Brazilian Scorpène is slightly longer than the original model to carry a larger crew and more food and fuel. These modifications enable longer patrols and greater distances.

All of the Brazilian Scorpène submarines will be equipped with Naval Group’s new-generation F21 heavy-weight torpedo, for which Brazil is the first international client.

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