RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Brazil launched its first domestically built submarine, named Riachuelo, on Friday in Rio de Janeiro state under the witness of Brazilian President Michel Temer and President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.
"Over the next months, we will carry out port and deck tests, and soon Riachuelo will be a new instrument for the national strategies of defense," said Brazilian Navy Commander Eduardo Bacellar.
Riachuelo is a result of the government's submarine development program. Four other submarines, one of them being nuclear-powered, are expected to be completed in the country by 2022.
The construction of the other three non-nuclear submarines is already underway. The government said that investments in the submarine program amount to 17.4 billion reals (4.46 billion U.S. dollars) so far and are expected to reach 35 billion reals (8.97 billion U.S. dollars).
According to the Navy, Riachuelo has an endurance of over 70 days and will be used to patrol the Brazilian coast. President Temer said it is essential to Brazil's defense strategies and also to the country's technological development.
The new submarine is named after the naval battle of Riachuelo in the Paraguay War in the 19th century, in which the Brazilian Navy participated.