Today, November 30, signifies an important achievement for the Spanish Navy as they proudly accept their first entirely Spanish-designed and crafted submarine. The innovative S-81 Isaac Peral is the brainchild of the expert team at Navantia and presents a historic moment, being the first Agosta-class submarine unveiled in close to 38 years. This milestone follows the recent retirement of the Tramontana S-74 in Madrid, marking the end of an era for the last of the Agosta class.
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Today’s receipt of the S-82 by the Spanish Navy is not to be understated. This remarkable achievement, a testament to over three million hours of diligent effort, catapults Spain into an exclusive circle of nations that possess the skills and resources to independently develop their own submarines.
Navantia’s president, Ricardo Domínguez, proudly likened this project to creating a spacecraft as it surpasses any previous technological venture in Spain’s history by a significant measure. Indeed, the intricacy involved in designing this submarine contravenes any conception of a conventional surface ship, pushing the boundaries of engineering and innovation.
The new addition of the S-81 Isaac Peral Agosta class submarine to the Spanish Navy is merely the tip of the iceberg. Reliable sources indicate that there are plans to further expand the naval fleet with three additional vessels of the same class. Simplified, this implies that the submarine commissioned today serves as the prototype for future submarines in this class.
Isaac Peral has long been a recognized name within the Spanish Navy. Notably, this title was assigned to the first-ever Spanish submarine, an electric model instrumental in safeguarding Spain’s territorial waters many years ago. Following this rich history, the forthcoming submarine, the S-82, will carry another name of historical significance – Narciso Monturiol. Spanish media reminds readers that Monturiol was a major innovator in underwater navigation on a global scale.
In an exciting turn of events, the S-82 Narciso Monturiol is anticipated to make its debut faster than initially projected – with a proposed launch in the middle of next year. Upon successful completion of testing stages, the submarine is projected to become operational within the Spanish Navy by 2025.
S-81 Isaac Pearl
In a significant development, the submarine S-81 Isaac Peral successfully navigated its last safety checkpoint, reaching its maximum operational depth, on October 18 this year. This noteworthy event was announced by Navantia, highlighting that while it marked an essential milestone, checks, and tests would persist until the ultimate delivery of the submarine.
However, the journey to this point wasn’t without its snags. The submarine’s intended launch in 2015 was postponed due to an extensive renovation process initiated in 2010 and a budgetary crisis faced by the Spanish government, causing significant delays.
The S-80 submarine, built to traverse remote areas undetected while maintaining high speeds, is noteworthy for its innovative design. It possesses an air-independent propulsion system, provided by UTC Power, which utilizes a 300kW reactor powered by bioethanol. Furthermore, the electric propulsion motors not only make the submarine 20% lighter compared to those used in Scorpene-class submarines but also harness power from the three diesel engines on board, each delivering 1200kW.
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