BAE to Participate in Spain’s S-80 Submarine Program
In its first submarine export order in more than 20 years, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions will fabricate and assemble fore and aft pressure hull domes for Spain’s 4 S-80 Class submarines in its Barrow-in-Furness shipyard, under the terms of the “multi million-pound agreement”…
The domes will be manufactured using a GBP 2 million, 2,500 tonne dome press facility, which is also used to create the pressure hull domes for Britain’s new nuclear-powered Astute Class attack submarines. The press was purchased from former supplier Motherwell Bridge Steel in Scotland in order to secure key supply equipment following Motherwell Bridge’s decision to cease manufacture of the domes. BAE Systems arranged for the massive press to be dismantled, refurbished and then rebuilt in the specialist steel-working facility at the Barrow shipyard.
BAE Systems Submarine Solutions has already begun work on the contract for Navantia, and the first 2 boat sets will be fully welded and completed in Barrow. The last two will be partly assembled and welded in Barrow, with final welding set to take place in Navantia’s facilities in Cartagena, Spain with support from BAE Systems Solutions as required. BAE’s Simon Jones said:
“A lot of effort has gone into ensuring the relationship with Navantia is not a traditional contractor/sub-contractor model. We are developing the basis of a long-term collaborative and co-operative relationship, equal in terms of responsibility and benefit. We see this sort of arrangement as the future basis for business arrangements in our respective markets.”
After a partnership with DCN over the Scorpene Class appears to have gone sour, with Navantia’s S-80 Class and DCN’s Barracuda Class emerging as competitive successors, a nuclear submarine maker who has few prospects of introducing competitive diesel-electric class boat would appear to be a perfect partner for Navantia. Meanwhile, the firm positions itself to pick up future diesel-electric orders from Britain, while gaining access to BAE’s global marketing network for the S-80. BAE Systems release.