|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2010)|
|Industry||Shipbuilding, Arms industry|
|Founded||1 January 2005|
|Key people||José Manuel Revuelta Lapique, President
José Antonio Casanova Gayoso
Enrique Martínez Robles
Aurelio Martínez Estévez
|Net income||-€78.27m (2012)|
|Owner(s)||Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales|
Navantia is a Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company, which offers its services to both military and civil sector. It is the fifth largest shipbuilder in Europe, and the ninth largest in the world with shipyards all over Spain.
Navantia's career started in 1730 with the creation of the historic military arsenals of Ferrol, Cartagena and San Fernando, whose shipyards were designed to build and repair ships of the Spanish Navy.
In 1908 these shipyards became part of the Sociedad Española de Construcción Naval (also known as La Naval) who also owned the civil shipyards of Matagorda and Sestao, subsequently incorporated into Astilleros Españoles S.A. (AESA).
After the Spanish Civil War, the state took care of the military arsenals and in 1947 founded Empresa Nacional Bazán, who was born as a shipbuilding company that relied on foreign technology. Subsequently, Bazan began developing its own draft ships.
Spanish shipyards struggled to compete with Asian shipbuilders in the late 20th century - in 1984 they employed 40,000 people but by 2003 this had fallen to 11,000 people. | In December 2000 Astilleros Españoles S.A. (AESA) and Empresa Nacional Bazán merged to form IZAR, but it continued to lose money - over €650m between 2000 and 2004. On 12 May 2004 the EU ruled that €308m of government subsidies to Izar were illegal and must be repaid; subsequently this figure rose to €1,200m. The repayments and lack of orders meant that the incoming government had to restructure Izar, cutting the workforce by 37%, privatising the civilian yards and transferring the military yards on 1 January 2005 to a new state-owned company, Navantia.
The military yards thrived in the early 2000s, as the Spanish government's Plan ALTAMAR recapitalised the navy on the back of a booming economy. Navantia went back to its Bazán roots, developing a family of medium-sized warships using US Navy technology such as the Aegis Combat System. They began with the F-100 Álvaro de Bazán class air-defence ships ordered by Spain in January 1997, followed by the smaller Fridtjof Nansen class frigates for Norway (June 2000) and the F-100 derivative Hobart class destroyer for Australia in October 2007. The relationship with the Royal Australian Navy was extended a few days later with a €1,411.6m contract for two Canberra-class amphibious ships based on Spain's Juan Carlos I then under construction.
Then the good times came to an end and Navantia had no new orders between 2008 and 2011. SEPI president Ramón Aguirre told Parliament that "Navantia is entering an alarming deterioration in its results...these continuing and recurring losses will make it necessary this year for Navantia to look for external financing, because with its resources it cannot maintain its activity". In July 2013 Navantia reported a loss of €78.27m on turnover of €906.4m, down 24%. Shipbuilding accounted for 72% of sales in 2012, and there was a roughly 50:50 split between sales to Spain and exports.
Navantia has consistently underestimated the cost of projects for the Spanish Navy - for instance the Juan Carlos I was 28% over-budget and the BAM patrol vessels 39%. On 11 May 2005 four contractors died from asphyxiation on board the second of the Nansen class; this led to an investigation which uncovered serious breaches of safety regulations, and their supervisors were jailed in 2013 for manslaughter. The Norwegians were not happy with the Nansens as originally delivered, citing poor-quality workmanship and rust problems. There were also contractual problems, with Aftenposten reporting that Navantia would not pay for modules constructed in Norway, and Navantia claiming an extra NOK650m (US$103m) for the first hull. In 2011 BAE Australia accused Navantia of providing poor-quality blueprints which led to a central keel block for HMAS Hobart being built to the wrong dimensions, and in 2013 ASC's Steve Ludlam claimed that Navantia's constant changes were responsible for the budget over-runs and delays to the Hobart class. In 2012 it emerged that Navantia had paid €42m in bribes in connection with Venezuela's acquisition of the Guaiquerí- and Guaicamacuto-class patrol vessels, including €12m split between two officials of the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), predecessor of SEPI.
Perhaps the most troubled project has been the new Isaac Peral-class submarines. Bazán had worked on a new submarine design in the late 1980s but agreed to merge it with a 6.2m-diameter French design that would become the Scorpène-class. Around 2002 Spain became more interested in using submarines for power projection than in a more static, defensive role and so Izar (later Navantia) created a new 7.3m-diameter ocean-going design, the S-80A. The French claimed that Izar/Navantia had stolen their technology to create the S-80A, the Spanish claimed it was an all-new design. In 2010 Navantia agreed to give up their rights to the Scorpène and dissolve the joint venture that had made them. The original 2004 contract envisaged four submarines at a total cost of €1,756m, with deliveries beginning in 2011. Dithering over the combat system put this back to 2013, and the budget crisis pushed it back further to 2015. Most seriously, in June 2013 Navantia revealed that a misplaced decimal point had led to the submarines being 70 tonnes overweight, which meant they could not resurface when dived; Spain brought in US Navy contractor Electric Boat to help Navantia fix the problem. This mistake means the first submarine will not be delivered until 2017, and has added to the budget overruns.
- Amphibious ships
- AEGIS Frigates
- AEGIS Corvette
- Multirole Corvette
- Patrol Ships
- Minehunter Ships
- Oceanographic Ships
- Combat and Control Systems
- Propulsion and energy generation systems
- Ship repair and conversions
Notes and references
- Ing, David (16 July 2013). "Navantia's losses increase 80% in 2012". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- Lope, Andreu (11 February 2005). "Agreement on restructuring of Izar shipyards". European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound). Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- "The contract for building 2 amphibious ships is signed in Australia". SEPI. 9 October 2007.
- Ing, David (24 March 2013). "Navantia workers must prepare for inevitable pay cuts after poor financial results". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- Ministerio de Defensa (September 2011). "Evaluación de los Programas Especiales de Armamento (PEAs)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Madrid: Grupo Atenea. p. 8. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- Lopez, Carmela (30 April 2013). "El caso de los cuatro muertos en 2005 en Navantia se salda con una conformidad". Diario de Ferrol (in Spanish).
- "Continuing Controversies: Disputes with Navantia Over Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen Frigates". Defense Industry Daily. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- Solholm, Rolleiv (19 January 2006). "Norwegian yards do not get paid". The Norway Post.
- "Norway, Navantia Spar Over Frigate Cost, Quality". Defense News. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
- Martin, Sarah (28 September 2013). "Coalition facing troubled waters as it sinks $250bn into shipbuilding". The Australian.
- Chicote, Javier (19 September 2012). "Dos ex altos cargos del PSOE cobran 12 millones en la venta de barcos a Chávez". ABC (in Spanish).
- Scott, Richard (23 November 2007). "Spains S-80A submarine comes up to the surface". Jane's Navy International. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011.
- Anderson, Guy (15 November 2010). "DCNS and Navantia terminate Scorpene collaboration". Jane's Defence Security Report.
- González, Miguel (2 April 2004). "Defensa firma contratos de armamento por más de 4.000 millones después de las elecciones". El Pais (in Spanish) (Madrid).
- Ing, David (7 November 2011). "Spain's S 80A submarines delayed by funding cuts". Jane's Defence Security Report.
- Nolan, Steve (6 June 2013). "Spain's £1.75billion submarine programme is torpedoed after realising near-complete vessel is 70 tonnes too heavy because engineer put decimal point in the wrong place". Daily Mail.