Brazilian Submarines Equipped with New Torpedoes

Brazilian Submarines Equipped with New Torpedoes

By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo
May 03, 2017

O Brasil pode se orgulhar da constituição e capacidade da sua Força de Submarinos, fruto de longo trabalho de idealismo, persistência e determinação de alguns governantes com visão de estadistas. Os países amigos das Américas muito desfrutam
da convivência e estimulo que a Marinha do Brasil propicia . Há sempre um elevado relacionamento de sincera amizade com nosso valoroso pessoal submarinista,sempre preocupado com o porvir e aceitando desafios pera a defesa nacional e no sistema interamericano.
Ney de Araripe Sucupira
Delegado Regional da Associação dos diplomados da Escola Superior de Guerra -Estado de São Paulo The Brazilian Navy (MB, per its Portuguese acronym) is planning an exercise to test its MK-48 torpedoes, a new weapon being installed in the national fleet’s five submarines. This training is meant to let service members in the Submarine Force Command observe the system in operation, and the torpedo in use. “The last launch was successfully done in October 2016, from the Tupi (S-30) submarine. It was done in the final phase of certification testing for the combat system. That exercise took place in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro,” stated Rear Admiral Oscar Moreira da Silva Filho, commander of the Submarine Force, without specifying the date or location of the next torpedo launch training. The data collected in this kind of exercise is compiled and analyzed by MB service members, and then applied in the development of military doctrine on the use of torpedoes. The information is also shared with submariners in their academic training, like in the First MK-48 Operations Workshop, which was held in February. At the workshop, participants were able to update themselves on MK-48 torpedo handling, their use in combat situations, and their launch and guidance modes. The Tupi (S-30) is the second submersible from the MB squadron to complete the process of upgrading its combat system to enable MK-48 torpedo launching and control. This equipment was acquired from the U.S. Navy in 2007, and has become standard weaponry on Brazilian submarines, replacing the older MK-24 torpedo. The first submarine to add capacity for using the MK-48 torpedo was the Tapajó (S-33), in 2011. In October of that year, the vessel launched two reusable test torpedoes. Later, in 2013, the Tapajó (S-33) debuted its torpedo firing in international waters during a seven-month training exercise held with the U.S. Navy. According to the management model adopted by the MB, submarines are put through a “planned and preventive maintenance system to ensure that approximately 70 percent of these resources are available for full operations at any time,” Rear Adm. Oscar stated. The Tupi (S-30) and Tapajó (S-33) submarines have already completed the latest maintenance and overhaul cycles. Now it is time for the submarine Tikuna (S-34) to have the new combat system installed, which is part of the Navy Arsenal in Rio de Janeiro (AMRJ, per its Portuguese acronym). Modern combat tool “Torpedoes are self-propelled explosive projectiles that operate under water, and are fired to detonate on impact, or as they approach a given target,” Rear Adm. Oscar explained. The MK-48 torpedo is considered one of the most intelligent weapons currently in use by the MB. When fired, this weapon heads out on a wire that allows the crew to remotely control its guidance. Equipped with acoustic sensors, the torpedo is capable of identifying and destroying surface targets and other submarines. In addition to these projectiles, Brazilian submarines also have the capability of launching MCC-23C background mines. With this weapon, submersibles are able to lay a minefield in areas under enemy control. According to Brazil’s National Defense Strategy (END, per its Portuguese acronym), submarines are warships used as a means of deterring hostile forces within the limits of Brazil’s national waters, an area measuring 4.5 million square kilometers, known as the Blue Amazon due to its natural diversity and wealth of resources. Submarines are also used with the intent of defending oil platforms, naval installations, port facilities, and islands and archipelagos in Brazil’s ocean territories. Among its other capabilities, END even provides for the possibility of Brazil’s Submarine Force fleet taking part in international peacekeeping operations. Brazilian submarines The MB’s current submarine fleet includes the Tupi (S-30), which is the oldest of the vessels, incorporated by Brazil in 1989. Tupi is also the name of a class of submarines to which that vessel and three others belong: the Tamoio (S-31), incorporated in 1994; the Timbira (S-32), in 1996; and the Tapajó (S-33), in 1999. These latter submarines were designed and built at the AMRJ. Brazil also has a Tikuna class of submarines which are manufactured in AMRJ’s facilities. The Tikuna (S-34) became a part of the MB in 2005, and like the Tupi class of submersibles, it has conventional propulsion, meaning that it uses diesel and batteries for fuel. On the outside, it looks similar to the other submarines, but technologically, the Tikuna class is an improved version of the Tupi. These sea giants are operated only by the military personnel onboard. “These service members volunteered for this exercise, and underwent a selection process with psychological, physical, and academic examinations,” explained Rear Admiral Flávio Augusto Viana Rocha, director of the Navy Social Communications Center. Currently, the MB has nearly 300 service members underway in submarine operations, “as well as other outstanding service members and civil servants from different professions, who assist with crew training, operational planning, preventive and corrective maintenance, and food and materiel logistics,” Rear Adm. Rocha concluded.
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