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King Felipe VI of Spain, accompanied by the Queen and members of the Royal Family, will preside over the launch of the first S-80-class submarine, to be named ISAAC PERAL (S-81), at Navantia’s Cartagena Shipyard on 22 April.

ISAAC PERAL is the first submarine designed and built in Spain and represents a strong commitment to national technological development and enhancing the international position of Spanish defence industries. Spain has now become one of the few nations able to successfully design and build submarines – an extremely complex task requiring a host of specialised skills in different areas of knowledge and a highly competent industrial base. The S-80 programme is the greatest industrial and technological challenge ever undertaken by Spain, and Navantia is taking a huge technological step forward with it, taking on the role of Technical Design Authority for the first time and evolving from building a warship in Spain to a foreign design to building in Spain to a Spanish design. About 100 companies from 11 regions around Spain are part of the national supply chain for the S-80 programme.

The ~81m submarines will have a beam of 7.3m and a submerged displacement of ~3,000 tonnes. They include an integrated combat system and a platform control system developed by Navantia Sistemas and will feature BEST-AIP, an atmosphere-independent propulsion system, which supplies the ship with electrical power at any depth so that it can remain underwater for longer periods. The class thus features considerably improved stealth capabilities and stands alongside the world’s most advanced conventional submarines. It has drawn the attention of several navies and opened up opportunities in a highly technological international market.

The launch ceremony on 22 April will be followed by harbour and sea tests, which will include submerging up to the maximum operating depth. The first sailing is scheduled for early 2022 and delivery to the Navy in early 2023.

The S-80 programme has meant a technological leap for Navantia and its cooperating industries, placing them at the forefront of the world’s conventional submarines market. Around one hundred companies from 11 different Spanish regions are taking part in the programme.

The S-80 programme is the largest and most complex shipbuilding programme Spain has ever undertaken. (Photo: Navantia)

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