Brazil to build military submarines, helicopters with French technology

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on Tuesday (Dec 23) an agreement for the building in Brazil of 4 diesel-electric Scorpène Class submarines, plus assistance in developing and fielding the non-nuclear parts of 1 nuclear submarine and 50 EC725 Cougar helicopters for the Brazilian Armed Forces with French technology.

As part of the French-Brazilian Strategic Partnership's Action Plan, the two countries also signed agreements in the aerospace, educational and biodiversity areas. The two countries also agreed to stimulate the integration between Brazil and neighboring French Guyana, which includes the construction of a bridge over the Oiapoque River, an old project.

"The only possibility of French Guyana developing itself is by connecting itself to this powerful nation that Brazil is," said President Sarkozy at a press conference that followed the agreements' signing.

A consortium of Brazilian Helibras and French Eurocopter will build the 50 helicopters in Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro states. The first batch of helicopters will be delivered to the Brazilian military in 2010.

The agreement for the construction of the four conventional Scorpene submarines and the nuclear-propelled one includes the construction of a shipyard and a naval military base in Brazil.

"The agreement will allow our navy to have top-notch equipment to better patrol our extensive coast," said President Lula, adding that the agreement's main goal is the protection of Brazil's deep-water offshore oil fields.

Scorpène Class submarine
Key Data
Crew: 32
Overall Length: 63.5m
Draught: 5.4m
Submerged Displacement: 1,590t
Surface Displacement: 1,450t
Pressure Hull Weldable
and High-Tensile Steel:
80HLES, more than 700Mpa
Maximum Operating Depth: 350m
Submerged Speed Over: 20 kt
Range(at 8kt): 6,400nm
Endurance: 50 days
Weapon Systems:
Torpedoes / Missiles: 6x 21in torpedo tubes for 18 torpedoes / missiles

EC 725 Cougar Medium Multi-Mission Helicopter

Main Rotor Diameter: 16.2m
Tail Rotor Diameter: 3.15m
Overall Length With Rotors Turning: 19.5m
Height to Top of Main Rotor Head: 4.6m
Maximum Height to Top Turning Tail Rotor: 4.97m
Width Fuselage: 2.1m
Cabin Dimensions
Length x Width x Height: 8.22m x 2.05m x 1.8m
Volume: 20m³
Maximum Take-Off Weight, Internal Load: 11,000kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight, External Load:11,200kg
Maximum Internal Payload: 5,700kg
Maximum External Payload: 5,000kg
Fast Cruise Speed: 150kt
Never Exceed Speed, VNE: 170kt
Service Ceiling: 6,000m
Hover Ceiling, Out of Ground Effect (OGE): 525m
Hover Ceiling, In Ground Effect (IGE): 2,210m
Range: 800nm at 5,000ft


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