The Cartagena Shipyard this morning hosted the formal event corresponding to the closure of the pressure hull of the submarine S81 ‘Isaac Peral’, after the final section of the boat was added to the hull.
The Deputy Director General of Programs of the DGAM, General Salvador Álvarez Pascual; the Chief of the Arsenal of Cartagena, Vice Admiral Aniceto Rosique Nieto; the Director of Engineering and Construction of the Navy, Vice Admiral Manuel Martínez Ruiz; the chief of the Logistics Division of the General Staff of the Spanish Navy, Admiral Gonzalo Sanz Alisedo; the chief of the Naval Systems Department of the DGAM, Nicolás Lapique Martín, and the director of the S80 Program, Javier del Corral.
On behalf of Navantia, the Director of Operations and Businesses, Gonzalo Mateo Guerrero-Alcázar; the Director of the Shipyard and the S80 Program, Agustín Álvarez Blanco; the Director of Navantia Sistemas, Vicente Santamaría Calvario, and the head of the S80 Program Office, Ignacio Núñez.
The event began with a brief tour of the submarine yard, during which the progress of the construction of both submarines S81 and S82, located in stands number 1 and 2, was demonstrated.
The pressure hull of the future Spanish Navy submarine S81 ‘Isaac Peral’ was closed on Dec. 18 at Navantia’s Cartagena shipyard.
Followed a brief presentation of the submarine's construction process, after which the Director of the Cartagena Shipyard and the Deputy Director General of Programs of the DGAM addressed a few words to those present in which they highlighted the importance of the act and the submarine program S80.
The closure of the pressure hull is a fundamental milestone in the construction of a submarine since it thus becomes a complete vessel. Previously, all the main modules had been completed and the sections had been fitted out to a high degree of completion. The next step is the completion of the weapons work and the beginning of the testing stage.
This milestone represents a phase change in the construction. Work on the submarine is now focused on its launching, for which a formal and regulated process is followed based on achieving safety milestones. This process begins with the powering-up milestone, in which the submarine begins to receive electric power; it continues with the milestone of battery boarding, in which the capability for autonomous power generation is demonstrated, and culminates with the launch, in which the submarine moves to the armament dock for the beginning of the port tests.
The planned date for launching is October 2020.
The S80 is the most advanced conventional submarine in the world. Its main features are:
-- Length: 80.81 m
-- Beam: 11.68 m
-- Diameter: 7,30 m diameter
-- Displacement surface / submerged: 2,695 t / 2,965 t
-- Accommodation: 32 crew + 8 special forces
-- Conventional long-endurance submarine with air-independent propulsion
-- Extremely low acoustic signature
-- Excellent maneuverability at low speed
-- Highly-automated systems
-- Next-generation combat system
-- Air independent propulsion system (AIP) - State of the art
-- Integrated, highly complex design.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dec. 18 ceremony marks the completion of a long process to extend the submarine’s hull so to correct its original design, as during initial trials in 2013 it was unable to resurface after diving.
Navantia identified the flaw and, after the Spanish defense ministry called in General Dynamics Electric Boat to consult, determined that the problem was due to excess weight of up to 100 tonnes having been added during construction.
The preferred solution was to lengthen the hull by 7 meters, increasing dived displacement by 75 tons, and thereby restoring – in theory - the boat’s buoyancy. The launch of the rebuilt submarine is now planned for October 2020.
The S81 was originally due to be delivered in 2015, and but this is unlikely to happen before 2021.)
Click here for Navantia’s press release in English.