Friday, August 28, 2009

Brazil's Coming Used Submarine Sale

Last year about this time, Brazil's Nuclear Submarine and Journalistic Fictions generated some interesting commentary.

What is new? Brazil's first nuclear submarine to be launched in 2021 . Well the time table for launch has only been moved out 1 year until 2021. France will still transfer core nuclear technologies to improve Brazil's R&D and production capabilities.

Defence minister, Nelson Jobim, said Brazil intends to build five submarines by 2021 with France (Scorpene class subs), of which one would be nuclear. Construction is slated to commence in 2016. An agreement struck last year is due to be signed by Brazilian and French presidents in a ceremony on Brazil's Independence Day, September 7th.

Total cost? Well, it seems to have increased from the original $160M estimate (for the n-sub) to $9.5 billion U.S. dollars for all, which will be paid in 2026, five years after launch. Apparently Brazilians learned from India's experience with Russian technology transfers.

Will spending $10 billion on a new sub fleet induce Brazil's Navy (Marinha do Brasil) to update its submarine insignia, too? You decide; here is the current design. M.E. predicts yes!

What will Brazil do with its current fleet of 5 submarines by 2021? Brazil's current fleet consists of a 209 class sub constructed by Germany's HDW and 3 more built by Arsenal de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ). AMRJ launched its improved Tupi class Tikuna, in 2005.

If Hugo Chavez is still in power, Venezueula would like to buy 1 or 2, depending upon condition, and immediately sell the HDW 209 to Iran. Ahmadinejad (if still in power) plans to upgrade the HDW 209 using Russian assistance. Hmmm.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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