Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia has commissioned the new S-81 “Isaac Peral” submarine to the Spanish Navy.
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The 81-metre-long S-81 submarine was handed over with transfer documentation signed between Navantia and the Directorate General for Armament and Material of the Ministry of Defence at Cartagena, as well as having Lieutenant Commander Manuel Corral sworn in as the first commander of the unit and the ship presented with its flag.
The official transfer was supervised by Spanish Minister of Defence Margarita Robles, Chief of Defence Staff Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón, Spanish Navy Chief of Staff Admiral General Antonio Piñeiro, Navantia chairman Ricardo Domínguez, and Navantia shareholder chairwoman Belén Gualda.
The S-81 submarine can reportedly reach a maximum speed of around 19 knots submerged and a range of 8,000 kilometres with a crew of 32 using an atmosphere-independent propulsion system based on bio-ethanol reforming technology. It is expected to be armed with six 533mm torpedo tubes loaded with German DM2A4 torpedoes and US-designed UGM-84 Sub-Harpoon block II missiles.
The submarine is anticipated to undertake anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, and surveillance missions.
“The success of this program lies mainly in two key factors: the skills of the women and men that have designed and are building these submarines and the collaboration approach that we have adopted as a working method, and that will continue throughout the entire life cycle of the submarines,” said Navantia chairman Ricardo Domínguez.
“Trust and cooperation with our customer and with the user of our product are undoubtedly key for Navantia.”
The commissioning of the Isaac Peral is a significant milestone for the Spanish Navy, not only as one of the most advanced NATO conventional submarines but also as first of four S-80 Class submarines to be designed, built, and launched in-country.
Spanish Minister for Defence Margarita Robles thanked the city of Cartagena, the Navy, Navantia staff and Ministry of Defence personnel for their involvement in the project.
“We are taking a giant step forward in this program and today we feel particularly proud of our Navy, heir to the great seafarers of history who transformed the world,” she said.
“Spain’s international presence is guaranteed with this Spanish Navy and with this program.”
The submarine also features an integrated combat system and platform control system developed by Navantia Sistemas, a weapon system able to launch torpedoes, anti-surface missiles, and tactical land attack missiles, as well as a combat system core developed in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, which also supplied the sonar suite.
The next S-82 submarine is currently in the process of joining sections, while submarines S-83 and S-84 are understood to be in the advanced phase of construction.