Brazil’s gamble on a nuclear-powered submarine

One of Brazil's three new ships built in the UK (photo:dpa)
One of Brazil's three new ships built in the UK (photo:dpa)

Brazil has taken its first step in a plan to join the small club of nations that have nuclear naval power. If all goes to plan, a new shipyard south of Rio de Janeiro, which has recently been inaugurated, will initially build four diesel-powered submarines and then a nuclear-powered submarine. But critics question whether Brazil should be embarking on such an expensive programme when it still struggles to provide critical services, such as education, healthcare, electricity and police, for millions of its citizens.

BRAZIL has several reasons for wanting more submarines. A larger, modern submarine fleet would be a strong deterrent to protect Brazil’s extensive coastline and its offsho...

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