On Thursday (23), the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, visited the Itaguaí Naval Complex in Rio de Janeiro, where the Navy Submarine Program (PROSUB) is being developed, which, in 2023, completes 15 years of the strategic partnership between Brazil and France. Through a process of technology transfer, the construction of the submarines is being carried out by Brazilian labor (engineers and technicians), counting on the technical assistance of French from the company Naval Group.

For the construction of the four conventional Brazilian submarines and, in the future, the Conventional Armed Submarine with Nuclear Propulsion “Álvaro Alberto”, a naval complex was built in Itaguaí (RJ), which has several facilities, equipment and specialized systems. Today, it is one of the most modern shipbuilding yards in existence, since the construction of submarines requires highly qualified labor and an equipped industrial park, in order to enable the execution of the various activities of manufacturing, commissioning and testing.

In his speech to the press present at the site, the President of the Republic highlighted the importance of a strong defense industry in the country. “When I saw the need to develop a defense industry in Brazil, it was because, in all countries of the world, the defense industry contributes to the economy as a whole, in addition to preparing in a more sophisticated way, with a lot of scientific and technological knowledge, our Armed Forces and the country itself,” he said.

At this morning’s event, the Commander of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, and the Director General of Nuclear and Technological Development of the Navy, Fleet Admiral Petronio Augusto Siqueira de Aguiar, presented the advances achieved by PROSUB.
The Commander of the Navy recalled that the President was the great supporter of the program: “he established, in 2008, a strategic partnership with France, which enabled the construction of all this infrastructure, which has a significant social reach. Brazil has a vocation for the use and development of nuclear technology in all sectors, not only in the defense sector, but in the health, food security, water security sectors. It is, therefore, a strand in which Brazil needs to develop capacity to provide the people, prosperity,” he said.

The authorities and the delegation visited the entire area of the Construction Yard (ESC), where the submarines are being built, seeing up close the “Riachuelo” Submarine, the first of its class with diesel-electric propulsion, which is already being used in operations. Those present were also able to visit the submarine “Humaitá”, the second of the four conventional submarines, which is in the final testing phase, aiming at its transfer to the operational sector of the Brazilian Navy (MB).

The program also included greetings to the representations of the crews of the submarines “Riachuelo” and “Tonelero”, as well as the employees of Itaguaí Construções Navais. On the way, it was also possible to observe the shiplift, which is used in the launch of submarines into the sea and in the collection for maintenance, as well as an explanation about the Complex, with the support of a 3D model, and a unveiling of a commemorative plaque to mark the institutional event. The visit was also attended by the Ambassador of France to Brazil, Brigitte Collet, as well as ministers, parliamentarians and executives of the main companies involved in the Program.

PROSUB and the Brazilian Nuclear Program (PNB)

PROSUB is a State Program of scientific and technological development, representing one of the largest strategic programs of Defense. Its main objective is to obtain, by construction in the country, the first Submarine Conventionally Armed with Nuclear Propulsion (SCPN), a naval means that will give a new dimension to National Defense.

In the field of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Program is of great geopolitical and strategic relevance for the country, representing the complete involvement of MB in PNB. The work developed achieved the autochthonous domain of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and the evolution of the Nuclear Propulsion Plant of the future SCPN. The generation of knowledge and the intellectual preparation of Brazilians in the nuclear field drives MB to continue collaborating with the national energy, health and agro-industrial sectors.