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Macron and Lula take delivery of new “Tonelero” submarine

Caption: © Naval Group

The third new Scorpene-class submarine for Brazil is afloat. “Tonelero” is part of a Brazilian-French shipbuilding cooperation.

The conventional submarine “Tonelero” is based on a design by the French Naval Group, but was built entirely in Brazil[ds_preview].

The third of the four Scorpène submarines in the ProSub program has now been launched at the Itaguaí naval base in the presence of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and French President Emmanuel Macron. It was built by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) following a technology transfer by the Naval Group.

By collaborating with foreign shipyards, the Naval Group aims to strengthen its market share in the highly competitive submarine construction sector, where it competes with TKMS from Germany, among others.

Just a few weeks after the delivery of the “Humaita”, the “Tonelero” has now been launched in Itaguaí and will soon begin sea trials for delivery in 2025. “Angostura”, the last submarine in the series, is due to be launched in 2025.

Brazil builds up submarine expertise

According to the Naval Group in a statement, the launch of the “Tonelero” demonstrates “the success of the ProSub program, which is an important extension of the Franco-Brazilian Strategic Defense Cooperation Agreement signed in 2008”. Last but not least, it enables Brazil to increasingly rely on a sovereign national industrial base.

In 2009, the Brazilian Navy selected the Naval Group for its “Programa de desenvolvimento de Submarinos”, the ProSub program. Brazil decided to strengthen its submarine forces with four new conventional submarines (SSK) and the development of its own nuclear submarine (SSN).

The “Scorpène” submarines are being built in Itaguaí. Naval Group contributed to this program by transferring technology, supplying the submarine design file and the equipment that makes up the submarines, and providing technical assistance to ICN. Teams from the ICN shipyard were also trained in submarine construction techniques in France as part of an extensive training program for Brazilian welders, formers, pipe fitters and electricians. The Naval Group has also selected and qualified many local suppliers. According to the information provided, “hundreds of Naval Group employees” work in the back office at all French locations.

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