|Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff|
A French / Brazilian nuclear powered submarine is being planned
While the United States circles the drain in Socialist bankruptcy and pulls back from space, other nations are charging forward.
The construction of four Scorpene-class attack submarines for the Brazilian Navy was launched on Saturday at a plant near Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil and France signed a $4.25-billion contract on the construction of the four enlarged S-BR diesel-electric submarines, jointly designed by France and Spain, in 2008. The first submarine is expected to enter service in 2017 reports RIA.
Scorpene-class submarines are equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes for 18 torpedoes or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, or 30 mines in place of torpedoes.
Unlike other modifications of the Scorpene-class submarine, the S-BR submarine is not equipped with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system which allows a submarine to operate without the need to surface or use a snorkel to access atmospheric oxygen.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was present at Saturday's ceremony, said the construction of the submarines was an important step that would help the Brazilian Navy reach a new level of technological development.
Brazil and France have also signed an agreement to develop a French/Brazilian nuclear powered submarine. In line with the deal, Brazil's first nuclear submarine is scheduled to enter service in 2023.
Brazil in space?
Brazil plans to develop its own carrier rocket for conveying small satellites into orbit by 2014, the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) said on Monday.
The agency said the rocket is being built by its main satellite launch vehicle project, VLS.
|Brazil to develop carrier rocket by 2014|
The test launch of the VLS-1 rocket is scheduled for 2012 and the first launch of the fully loaded rocket is due in 2013, the agency said in a statement.
Earlier reports said Russia may take part in the project. In 2009, a delegation from the Brazilian Institute of Aeronautics and Space (IAE) visited the Makeev State Rocket Center in Miass, near the city of Chelyabinsk in the Russian Urals.
For more on this story