S-80: A Sub, for Spain, to Sail Out on the Main


S74 Tramontana

Service delay to 2018 forces life extension of Agosta Class subs.

May 24/14: S-70 LEX. Spain is forced to extend the operational life of its S-70 Agosta Class boat Tramonta, because the S-80 submarine Issac Peral isn’t expected until 2018 now. The cost of S74 Tramonta’s refit has risen from EUR 30 million to EUR 42.9 million after the last budget, in order to extend the boat’s life to compensate for the S-80 program’s 5-year delay.

Spain’s entire budget is under huge pressure, but they didn’t have much choice with this. The Agosta Class submarines S71 Galerna reportedly has just 2 years of safe service life left, and Spain needs to have at least 2 submarines in its fleet to meet NATO commitments in the Mediterranean. The current plan is to keep S73 Mistral in service, and use S74 Tramonta’s enhanced servicing overhaul to ensure that she is the 2nd boat.

On the other hand, El Confidencial also reports that Spain won’t increase the S-80’s EUR 2.136 billion budget to deal with its weight issues and delays. Even though changing specifications from the Navy may be partly to blame. That could end up cutting the S-80 program to 3 boats. Sources: El Confidencial, “El retraso del S-80 obliga a invertir 43 M€ para mantener un submarino con 29 anos”.

Jan 20/14: Delays. Spanish paper El Confidencial reports that S81 Issac Peral won’t be operational until 2018. Apparently, the dates bandied about in meetings between Navantia and the government keep on getting later, with about 4 more years of design, testing, and training left to go before the sub can be operational.

As a result, Spain will have to approve additional funds to keep 2 Agosta Class boats in service until 2018 at least. If the S-80’s program budget can’t be increased, Spain may also have to cut 1 submarine from the build plan. Sources: El Confidencial, “El ‘exceso de peso’ del submarino S-80 retrasara la primera unidad hasta 2018”.

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S-80 cutaway, labeled(click to view full) The CIM-2000 Scorpene class diesel-electric attack submarine partnership was just the first step for Spain’s Navantia, as it joined with France’s DCNS to enter the global submarine market. Now Navantia is building on that base of expertise, to field its own S-80 Class for the Spanish Armada. Spain’s new submarines will be larger boats than Navantia/DCNS’ Scorpene Class, with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems as standard gear, and completely new designs for both external shape and internal systems. This article will cover the S-80 submarines’ capabilities and associated key events and contracts – including sub-contracts to American, British, and Italian firms. S-80 Submarines: Program & Schedule S74 Tramontana(click to view full) Spain’s existing fleet comprises 3 Galerna (Agosta) Class diesel-electric submarines, delivered from 1983 – 1985. S72 Sirocco was decommissioned in 2012, and the S-80 program’s scheduled 1st delivery in 2015 will make it challenging for Spain to keep its existing fleet in operation long enough. Spain can’t be accused of poor planning, or lack of foresight. The S-80 program actually had its genesis in 1989, but it wasn’t until 1997 that Spain’s Armada began defining its objectives more clearly. A final project definition contract […]

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