The path not taken.
- Oct 9, 2009
- Reaction score
Rousseff stressed Brazil was committed to peace but also needed its defense deterrent, as she inaugurated a naval shipyard in Rio de Janeiro state where the country's first nuclear-powered sub is set to be built in partnership with France.
"We can say that with these installations we are entering the select club of countries with nuclear submarines: The United States, Russia, France, Britain and China," said Rousseff.
Known as the Metallic Structures Construction Unit, the factory in the city of Itaguai near Rio de Janeiro is part of the ambitious ProSub program launched in 2008.
Under the scheme, France will supply Brazil with four conventional submarines and help develop the non-nuclear components of the South American powerhouse's first nuclear-powered attack submarine.
Brazil already has the uranium enrichment technology required for producing nuclear fuel and wants to use it to power the submarine.
The 7.8 billion reais ($3.95 billion) ProSub program aims to protect the country's 8,500-kilometer (5,280-mile) coastline and huge deep-water oil reserves.
The defense ministry said the first of the four conventional Scorpene-class subs will be delivered to the Brazilian Navy in 2017, while the nuclear-powered vessel will be commissioned in 2023.