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S-81: The most advanced conventional (non-nuclear) submarine in the world

Navantia distributed the first pictures of the submarine S-81, which was completed on April 22nd at its shipyard in Cartagena, a few days before the opening ceremony of the first submarine of the S-80 series. The S-81, named Isaac Peral, is the first submarine designed and built entirely in Spain. It is therefore a clear commitment to national technological development that will enhance the strategic independence of the defense of the country and the international projection of the Spanish industrial material.

The S-80 program is the greatest industrial and technological challenge facing the national defense industry. Navantia is making a great leap in technology as it takes on the role of Technical Design Authority for the first time and the cycle of technological development is complete: from building in Spain with foreign design to building in Spain with its own design.

The S-80 submarines will have a total length of 80.8 meters, a diameter of 7.3 meters and an underwater displacement of around 3,000 tons. Its technological contributions include the Navantia Sistemas platform’s combat and control system and a revolutionary anaerobic propulsion system developed by Navantia called BEST-AIP that provides great camouflage when immersed. With this atmosphere-independent drive system, you can generate electrical energy from fuel cells with technology from the aerospace industry at any depth. This allows you to stay for weeks without going to the periscope, which improves your discretion, the main characteristic of a submarine.

The S-80 will therefore be the most advanced conventional (non-nuclear) submarine in the world, having caught the interest of several navies in other countries and opened a door to the international market in a high-tech sector.

On April 22nd, the King, accompanied by the Queen and Princess of Asturias and the Infanta sofa, will lead the opening ceremony of the S-81, the first submarine of the S-80 series, at the Navantia shipyard in Cartagena. With this program, Spain is entering the small group of countries that can design and build submarines. This is an enormously complex challenge, as these are ships that have to operate autonomously in a hostile environment. They therefore require highly specialized knowledge in various disciplines and a highly qualified industrial and technological support base.

The opening ceremony, which will take place after sanitary security measures, will take place next to the workshop in which the submarine was built before the process of leading it into the water by means of a flood dam begins. This maneuver, which lasts several hours, is carried out as work at the shipyard in the following days.

Once afloat, port testing activities begin, followed by sea trials, which include surface navigation and diving to maximum levels. The first navigation of the S-81 is planned for the beginning of 2022 and will be delivered to the Navy a year later.

Defense Secretary Margarita Robles will attend the opening ceremony. the President of the Region of Murcia, Fernando Lpez Miras; the Chief of Defense Staff (JEMAD), Admiral General Teodoro Lpez Caldern and the Chief Admiral of the General Staff of the Navy (AJEMA), Admiral General Antonio Martorell Lacave; In addition to the President of Navantia, Ricardo Domnguez and the President of the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), Beln Gualda.

The S-80 program represents a qualitative leap for Navantia, which is at the forefront of the international market for conventional submarines with active offers in several countries. This also applies to the cooperating industry, as one hundred companies from 11 different autonomous communities are participating in the S-80 program. It creates direct, indirect and induced employment for more than 6,000 people and an annual impact on Spanish GDP (direct, indirect and induced contribution) of more than 250 million euros, of which more than 80 million make a direct contribution to regional GDP ( 1% of Murcia’s GDP).

Photos: The first pictures of the submarine S-80 have already been completed at the Navantia Cartagena shipyard

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