Tag Archives: S-80

Electric Boat gets contract to help lighten Spanish sub

Groton — The first of the Spanish Navy’s four new submarines is too heavy and Electric Boat has been asked to help.

The U.S. Navy hired Electric Boat as the contractor for a foreign military sales agreement with the Spanish Ministry of Defence, in support of the Spanish Navy, according to a statement the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command issued Monday.

The agreement is worth up to $14 million, an official at the Embassy of Spain who is familiar with the contract said. EB will provide technical assistance and review the S-80 Submarine project for almost three years, the official added.

The S-80 Submarine is Spain’s first submarine design. According to Spanish press reports, the S-81 Isaac Peral, the first member of the class, is at least 75 tons overweight. The diesel-electric submarine weighs 2,400 tons submerged and the excess weight could prevent it from surfacing after it dives.

Navantia, a Spanish state-owned company, is building the S-80 submarine fleet. Each submarine will have a crew of 32 and eight special forces.

The Isaac Peral was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 at a cost of about $700 million, but it is estimated that correcting the weight and balance issues could take up to two years.

When asked whether EB would help with the weight problem specifically, the Embassy official said, “We hope.” He did not know how many EB employees would be involved.

EB referred questions to the U.S. Navy.

In 2003, the British Ministry of Defence solicited EB’s help for its Astute submarine program through a foreign military sales agreement with the United States.

With a substantial gap between the design and construction of the Vanguard class and the start of the Astute program, submarine design and construction skills had atrophied in the United Kingdom, according to the RAND Corp., and about 100 experienced EB designers and managers worked with BAE Systems on the design effort.

Source – Patch . Com

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Spain just spent $680 million on a submarine that can’t swim

The S-80, clearly computer-generated.Navartia

One of Spain’s largest defense splurges may also be one of its most embarrassing. After spending nearly one-third of a $3 billion budget to build four of the world’s most advanced submarines, the project’s engineers have run into a problem: the submarines are so heavy that they would sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Miscalculations by engineers at Navantia, the construction company contracted to built the S-80 submarine fleet, have produced submarines that are each as much as 100 tonnes (110 US tonnes) too heavy. The excess weight sounds paltry compared to the 2,000-plus tonnes (2,205 US tonnes) that each submarine weighs, but it’s more than enough to send the submarines straight to the ocean’s floor.

Given the mistake, Spain is going to have to choose between two costly fixes: slimming the submarines down, or elongating them to compensate for the extra fat. All signs point to the latter, which will be anything but a breeze—adding length will still require redesigning the entire vessel. And more money on top of the $680 million already spent.

Spain’s defense ministry, the government arm responsible for overseeing the project, has yet to say how much the setback will cost in both time and money. But Navantia has already estimated that its mistake will set the project back at least one or, more likely, two years. And the Spanish edition of European news site The Local reported that each additional meter added to the S-80s, already 71 meters in length, will cost over $9 million.

It’s a costly mistake on many fronts. The state-of-the-art submarines were meant to be the first entirely Spanish-designed and built. Incompetence is likely going to cost the country at least some of the glory. Electric Boat, a subsidiary of US-based technology firm General Dynamics, has already evaluated the project and could be hired as a consultant to save the job.

Another bailout for Spain. This is getting all too familiar.

Source – Quartz