EB Gets Contract To Help Lighten Spanish Sub
By Jennifer McDermott
June 3, 2013
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.