First Scorpene built in Brazil launched
Posted on Dec 14, 2018

In 2009, Naval Group was chosen by the Brazilian Navy for designing and transferring the technology for four conventional Scorpène submarines, and for the design and manufacturing assistance for the non-nuclear part of Brazil’s first nuclear-powered submarine. The contract also included support for the construction of a naval base and a shipyard in Brazil.

The successful completion of shipyard infrastructure and launch of the first submarine, named Riachuelo, demonstrates the success of the strategic Brazilian-French partnership.

The submarine was built by Construtora Norberto Odebrecht, a Brazilian company, based on specifications from Naval Group. CNO relied on the French group’s experience in the design, production engineering and in-service support of submarines for this early success.

The Riachuelo will start sea trials in 2019 for delivery to the Navy in 2020. Delivery of submarines 2, 3 and 4 will then follow every 12 to 18 months.

Since 2012, Naval Group has done considerable work to identify, select, negotiate, qualify local Brazilian service providers in order to establish the supplier database for equipments or products supplied by Naval Group to the Brazilian Navy for this project and potential future needs of the Brazilian Navy.

This work enables the Brazilian Navy to rely more and more on a sovereign national industrial base.

It also enables the Brazilian industrial ecosystem to access new markets by promoting their “Naval Group” and “Brazilian Navy” accreditation (whose image of excellence and seriousness is highly regarded in Brazil) and to avail of the know-how and experience of the French group in the fields of project management.

Finally, ICN (Itaguaí Construções Navais) will be able to call on this panel of suppliers for its own development as part of the future maintenance and support services of the submarines.

Scorpène is the conventional submarine designed by Naval Group for the export market. It demonstrates both Naval Group's ability to deliver best in class submarines and to conduct successful transfers of technology. Today 14 Scorpène submarines are in operational service or being built, for the Chilean Navy (2 units), the Malaysian Navy (2 units), the Indian Navy (6 units) and the Brazilian Navy (4 units).


The Scorpène design is adapted to fit each navy’s specific requirements. Thus, the Brazilian Scorpène will be slightly longer to carry a larger crew, almost double the patrol range, and be able to cover greater distances.


Scorpène is ideally suited for action and operational effectiveness. 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, offensive minelaying and intelligence gathering. Integrating improvements from French Barracuda-Class fast-attack submarine, Scorpène has cutting-edge capabilities.

Brazilian Scorpène’s characteristics:

  • Surfaced displacement: 1,600 - 2,000 t
  • Length, overall: 72 m
  • Submerged speed > 20 kts
  • Diving depth > 300 m
  • Autonomy > 45 days
  • Crew: 35
  • Weapons total payload: 18
  • Weapon tubes: 6
  • Operational availability at sea > 240 days per year