The Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese) launched submarine Humaitá (S-41) at sea, at the Madeira Island Naval Complex, in Itaguaí, Rio de Janeiro, on December 11, 2020. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Minister of Defense Fernando Azevedo e Silva, and MB Admiral Ilques Barbosa Júnior, MB commander, attended the event.
According to Agência Brasil, conventional submarines have an operational capacity of up to 80 days at sea, powered by battery, rechargeable by diesel engine, with an underwater capacity of up to five days. The vessels are 71.6 meters long, weighing 1,870 tons, with a crew capacity of 35 service members, and a range that enables them to monitor a large country, such as Brazil.
These submarines can dive to a depth of 400 meters. Their operation will guarantee greater control of the offshore area known as Blue Amazon, which represents 67 percent of the Brazilian territory. MB Rear Admiral André Martins, manager of Industrial Infrastructure of the Submarine Development Program (PROSUB, in Portuguese), highlighted the importance of protecting the Blue Amazon. “This is where most of the national maritime trade occurs and where the main oil reserves are,” he said to Agência Brasil.
During the ceremony, the submarine Tonelero was featured. There was also a presentation on the construction status and testing of five submarines, as scheduled by PROSUB. The program plans for a total of four conventional and one nuclear powered submarine, with construction scheduled to begin in 2022.
The USS Vermont (SSN 792), a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine, was also present at the Madeira Island Naval Complex. The U.S. vessel was in Brazil from December 10-15, to participate in antisubmarine warfare exercises with the Brazilian submarine Tupi (S-30) as well as patrol and maritime reconnaissance aircraft, in addition to taking part in the launch of the Brazilian submarine Humaitá.
“It is an honor to visit Brazil’s newest submarine base and see the success of MB’s PROSUB first-hand, through the construction of BNS Riachuelo, BNS Humaitá, and BNS Tonelero,” said U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Daryl Caudle, commander of the Atlantic Submarine Force. “The PROSUB program plays an important part in strengthening our bilateral ties and the overall regional security foundation. We will continue to work closely together in order to achieve our shared objectives to improve our combined undersea effectiveness,” he added.
U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman welcomed President Bolsonaro and other Brazilian authorities on board the USS Vermont. During that time, they formalized their leadership commitment, reasserting the strong history of military collaboration between the United States and Brazil. “This visit reiterates our strong military-to-military relationship, and our common commitment to a partnership that helps strengthen the security of each of our nations, as well as the broader hemisphere,” said Chapman.