Tag Archives: Spain

British nuclear submarine ‘surfaces off Gibraltar’ as row with Spain heats up

Witnesses said  they saw the submarine surface on Saturday

  • Believe sub is  HMS Tireless but officials refuse to confirm sighting
  • Comes days  after Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster arrived

A British nuclear submarine has reportedly  been spotted off the Gibraltar coast.

Witnesses said they saw the vessel surface on  Saturday as tensions between Spain and Britain continue to rise over fishing  rights around the Mediterranean enclave.

The sighting comes days after Royal Navy  warship HMS Westminster arrived in Gibraltar.

Witnesses say a British nuclear submarine, believed to be HMS Tireless (pictured), surfaced off GibraltarWitnesses say a British nuclear submarine, believed to  be HMS Tireless (pictured), surfaced off Gibraltar

The Ministry of Defence refused to confirm or  deny today if a nuclear submarine is currently stationed at the enclave.

 A spokeswoman said if it was in Gibraltar  then it was for ‘routine business’.

The Sun quoted an ‘insider’ as saying: ‘There  is only one reason a submarine breaks the surface – and that is to be spotted.

Last time the Trafalgar-class sub docked by the Rock it provoked anger and protests from activists (pictured) Last time the Trafalgar-class sub docked by the Rock it  provoked anger and protests from activists (pictured)

‘These things do not show themselves unless  they want to be seen.’

The website shipspotting.com reported that  HMS Tireless – a Trafalgar-class nuclear submarine – was seen in Gibraltar in Z  Berth last month.

Local news in Gibraltar reported that HMS  Tireless sailed into the area last month for a ‘short stay as part of (the  submarine’s scheduled operational tasking’.

If confirmed, it will be the first time the  nuclear submarine has docked in the contested region since 2004.

The docking of HMS Tireless, which is due to  be decommissioned this year, sparked protests from Spanish activist nine years  ago – the same year as the 300th  anniversary of the capture of Gibraltar from Spain.

The submarine caused diplomatic tensions  between Britain and Spain once again in 2000 when it docked in Gibraltar for a  year after the submarine developed a serious leak in the nuclear reactor primary  cooling circuit.

Another Trafalgar-class submarine, HMS  Talent, stopped in Gibraltar this year and the enclave’s first minister Fabian  Picardo and his deputy Dr Joseph Garcia were given a tour.

Tensions between the two countries have  ramped up this year over fishing rights.

Gibraltar’s creation of an artificial reef  with concrete blocks has provoked fury from Spanish fisherman, which they say  blocks their access to certain waters.

Spanish police were criticised last week when  they unfurled a Spanish flag during an inspection of the reef.

Spanish police were criticised recently after they held up a Spanish flag Spanish police were criticised recently after they held  up a Spanish flag during an inspection of an artificial reef that has caused  anger among fishermen

Gibraltar accused the police of violating  ‘British sovereignty’ by attempting to exercise jurisdiction in its  territory.

Last week, a fleet of almost 40 boats sailed  into British waters to demand the reef be removed.

Spain has also increases border checks,  leading to long queues for workers and tourists entering Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar government has tried in recent  days to defuse tensions by proposing a change in local law to let the Spanish  resume fishing in parts of the sea near the Rock.

Source –   Daily Mail

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Spain – The mistake will cost £9million over three years to rectify

Spain’s £1.75billion submarine programme is torpedoed after realising near-complete vessel is 70 tonnes too heavy because engineer put decimal point in the wrong place

  • Experts fear that the Isaac Peral will not surface again if sent to sea
  • The mistake will cost £9million over three years to rectify
  • A US company is to present a range of options to Spanish officials
  • The project could be set back two years by the error

 

A £1.75 billion Spanish submarine project has run aground after officials realised that the vessel is more than 70 tonnes too heavy – because an engineer put a decimal point in the wrong place.

A former Spanish official has described the mistake, which has led to fears that the submarine might not resurface if sent to sea, as ‘fatal’.

The Isaac Peral, the first in a new class of diesel electric submarines, was almost complete when the problem was noticed.

Too heavy: The Isaac Peral, a new, Spanish-designed submarine is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it goes out to sea, it will not be able to surface. Officials are pictured next to the engine of the vessel last NovemberToo heavy: The Isaac Peral, a new, Spanish-designed submarine is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it goes out to sea, it will not be able to surface. Officials are pictured next to the engine of the vessel last November

Spain will now pay US Navy contractor Electric Boat £9million over three years to assess the issue and carry out the work required to correct it, according to the Spanish Defence Ministry.

Rafael Bardaji, former director of the Office of Strategic Assessment at Spain’s Defense Ministry said that officials will review options suggested by Electric Boat.

But he said the preference has been to extend the length of the submarine’s hull, perhaps by 5 to 6 meters, to increase buoyancy.

Otherwise, the weight of the 2,200 tonne submarine would have to be reduced, and he said the Spanish Navy would not want to compromise features such as the combat system or an air-independent propulsion system.

Experts: Electric Boat, the company who will help the Spanish rectify the problem, helped to build the Astute class attack submarine, pictured, for the British Navy in 2003Experts: Electric Boat, the company who will help the Spanish rectify the problem, helped to build the Astute class attack submarine, pictured, for the British Navy in 2003

Electric Boat, the primary contractor for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of nuclear submarines, accepted the contract through a foreign military sales agreement between the American Navy and the Spanish Defense Ministry, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command announced this week.

THE ISAAC PERAL SUBMARINE

The submarine project has cost the Spanish some £1.75billion so far. But what exactly are they getting for their money with the SSK submarine:

  • Weight: 2,200 tonnes (surfaced) / 2,426 tonnes submerged)
  • Length: 71,05 metres
  • Power: 3 x diesel engines, 1 x electric engine, 1 x AIP reactor
  • Speed: 12 knots (14mph) surfaced / 19 knots (22mph) submerged
  • Complement: Space for three officers, four subofficers, 25 sailors and eight special forces soldiers
  • Armament: 6 x 533mm torpedo launchers, DM2/A4 Torpedos, Mk48 Torpedos, Sub-Harpoon Block II missiles, Tomahawk TacTom Cruise missiles (range about 1,600 km)

Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamic Corp., has helped other countries with their submarine programs.

It began assisting with development of the Astute-class nuclear attack submarine for the British Royal Navy in 2003, and it is working under another foreign military sales agreement on Australia’s Collins class of submarines.

The 233ft long submarine will carry a crew of 32, along with eight special forces troops, and weapons systems for surface and anti-submarine warfare.

The Defense Ministry said technical problems are normal for projects of this scale.

It said in a statement: ‘The technology challenges that these programs face during development are much more than simple calculations.

‘All the major military programs, especially submarines, have experienced delays and often have required the support of a technology partner.’

Mr Bardaji added: ‘Apparently somebody in the calculations made a mistake in the very beginning and nobody paid attention to review the calculations.’

The Isaac Peral, named after a 19th century Spanish submarine designer, is one of four vessels in the class that are in various stages of construction. The country has invested about £1.75 billion in the program.

The first vessel was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 but the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder, Navantia, has said the weight problems could cause delays of up to two years.

Source – Daily Mail

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

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

Spain – Navantia overhaul of submarine almost complete

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has floated the Spanish navy’s S-73 submarine, the Mistral, after finishing 80 percent of its dry dock overhaul.

Dry dock work on the vessel is being conducted at the company’s shipyard in Cartagena and, when completed, will give the submarine another five years of service life.

The S-73 is a diesel-powered vessel with a surface speed of 12 knots and a submerged speed 10.5 knots. It entered service with the Spanish navy in 1977.

The dry dock overhaul involved dismantling the submarine, replacing components and equipment in poor condition and then reassembling the vessel. Navantia said more than 15,000 pieces of equipment were removed and inspected, as well as its hull.

Mistral is docked at the shipyard for the remainder of the overhaul, which includes completion of assembly and testing at port and at sea.

The vessel is scheduled to be returned to the Spanish Navy in September, Navantia said.

Mistral is one of four Spainish Naval, S-70 “Agosta Class” submarines .

built by Cartagena dockyard

  • Galerna (S 71) – completed 1983 – in service
  • Siroco (S 72) – completed 1983 – decommissioned 2012
  • Mistral (S 73) – completed 1985 – in service
  • Tramontana (S 74) – completed 1985 – in service

Source – UPI.com

Source – Wikipedia