Spain unveiled the S-80 sub with air-independent propulsion [AIP]

MADRID, ($1=0.88 Euros) – Navantia is one of the few companies in the Spanish defense industry to take part in the Egyptian EDEX fair in Cairo this week, learned, citing InfoDefensa. The public shipyard landed at the international exhibition with the frigate F-110, the submarine S-80, and its logistics ship AOR [Avatar, Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment].

Spain unveiled the S-80 sub with air-independent propulsion [AIP]
Photo credit: Navantia

The Egyptian navy has expressed interest in ships with these characteristics in recent years. The Spanish company also revealed the tactical screen of the S-80 submarine, along with its avatar and how it works to include virtual reality in the F-110 frigate.

Both ships are the lever of the Spanish shipbuilder’s digital transformation. Construction of the F-110 will begin next March in Ferrol, while the first S-80 submarine, Isaac Peral, is already conducting its port tests. The company entrusts much of its opportunities in the international market to these two programs

The company also unveiled its AOR ship, exported to Australia. The Navantia shipyard at the mouth of the Ferrol has built two logistics ships of this type, Supply, and Stalwart, based on BAC Cantabria of the Spanish Navy, which have already been delivered to the Australian Navy.

More about S-80 sub and AIP

The S-80’s air-independent propulsion [AIP] system is based on a bioethanol-processor consisting of a reaction chamber and several intermediate Coprox reactors. Provided by Hynergreen from Abengoa, the system transforms the bioethanol [BioEtOH] into high purity hydrogen. The output feeds a series of fuel cells from UTC Power company.

The Reformator is fed with bioethanol as fuel and oxygen [stored as a liquid in a high-pressure cryogenic tank], generating hydrogen and carbon dioxide as subproducts. The produced hydrogen and more oxygen are fed to the fuel cells.

The bioethanol-processor also produces a stream of highly concentrated carbon dioxide and other trace gases that are not burned completely during combustion. This gas flow is mixed with seawater in one or more ejector venturi scrubbers and then through a new system, SECO2 [or CO2 Removal System], developed by Bionet, and whose purpose is to dissolve the “bubbles” of CO2 in water to undetectable levels.

The oxygen and fuel flow rates are directly determined by the demand for power. The AIP power in the S-80 submarine is at least 300 kW [400 hp]. A permanent-magnet electric motor moves a fixed propeller of a special design, that doesn’t create cavitations at high speed.

The engine leads to resonance effects, wherefore a highly flexible coupling of the RATO-S G-561W from Vulkan is installed.

In December 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Defence announced the development of a Spanish fuel cell due to the high cost of the current SPC and to avoid dependence on a foreign manufacturer. The program has a 6-year horizon to develop a 300 kW prototype.

S-80 Plus-class submarines are designed to improve threat scenario missions. Their operational mobility will allow them to operate in remote areas, traveling discreetly at high speeds. Their air-independent propulsion [AIP] system, of new technological design, will ensure their ability to remain in an area for a very long period without being detected and their ability to operate in possible conflict zones

Egyptian Defense Exhibition

The pandemic has not prevented more than 400 exhibiting companies from exhibiting their work at the Egypt Defense Expo (meaning EDEX), according to information provided by officials.

The fair, which kicked off on Monday, is in the current context “a unique opportunity for exhibitors to showcase the latest technologies, equipment, and systems on land, sea, and air”. In the absence of confirmation of official figures, the organization plans to receive more than 30,000 visitors to an exhibition facing the largest military force in Africa, whose forces consist of 920,000 troops. With this approval, “Egypt is the ideal venue for a large-scale defense and security event.”

In addition, the organizers emphasize that Egypt has historically maintained continuous investment in the latest weapons as a defense strategy and has strengthened national production lines in various military complexes. In this context, “EDEX has the full support of the Egyptian Armed Forces and presents a new opportunity for exhibitors to demonstrate the latest technologies, equipment, and systems on land, sea, and air.”


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