S-80 Plus-class submarine

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Class overview
Operators Spanish Navy
Preceded by Scorpène class
Built2005–2029 (planned)
In commissionFrom 2023 (planned)
General characteristics
TypeSubmarine with air-independent propulsion
  • 3,200 tonnes (3,100 long tons; 3,500 short tons) surfaced
  • 3,426 tonnes (3,372 long tons; 3,777 short tons) submerged
Length81.05 m (265.9 ft)
Beam11.68 m (38.3 ft)
Draught7.3 m (24 ft)
  • 1 shaft Etanol-AIP
  • 3 bio-ethanol engines (3 × 1,200 kW)
  • 1 electric motor (3,500 kW), 1 AIP fuel cell unit (300 kW)
  • Vulkan couplings RATO-S G-561W. 280 kN·m [2]
  • 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 19 kn (35 km/h; 22 mph) submerged
Range8,000 km
Endurance30-55 days in immersion
Test depth460 m
Complement32 (plus 8 troops)
Armament6 × 533 mm torpedo tubes with DM2A4 torpedoes, Harpoon missiles UGM-84 Sub-Harpoon block II and UGM-109 Tomahawk
NotesAIP reactor autonomy: 28 days

The S-80 Plus class (or Isaac Peral class) is a Spanish class of four submarines—late-1990s design, initial production order in 2003, redesign/rebuild mid-2010s, and currently in production—being built by the state-owned[3] Spanish company Navantia in its Cartagena shipyard for the Spanish Navy. In common with other contemporary submarines, they feature air-independent propulsion.

They are oceanic submarines of medium tonnage with the capacity to carry out long duration missions in scenarios far from their base, acting with a minimum level of indiscretion.[clarification needed] They will have an integrated platform control system that allows operation with a reduced endowment[clarification needed] and a high degree of automation with remote control.

The lead boat in the class, the Isaac Peral (S-81), the first unit in the series, was launched by King Felipe VI and his daughter, Princess Leonor, heir to the throne, on April 22, 2021 at the Cartagena shipyards, with plans to enter service in 2023, after originally being targeted for 2011. The remaining three boats are slated to be delivered in 2025, 2027 and 2029.[4][5][6][7] The S-80 class has also been offered for export.


In the 1980s France began studies for the replacement of their S-60 Daphné-class diesel submarines. The French shipyard DCNI (Direction des Constructions Navales International) came up with an all-new design called S-80, with a teardrop hull and new weapons and sensors, which the French government ultimately decided[when?] not to fund.[8] DCNI then proposed a cheaper option called the S-90B, an S-70 Agosta-class submarine with limited improvements which was again rejected by the French but which was exported to Pakistan.[8] Meanwhile, Spain faced the same problem in replacing their Daphnés, known as the Delfín class in Spanish service, as part of Plan ALTAMAR. The firm Bazán (later Izar, and then subsequently, the Spanish state-owned Navantia[3]) started on a new design but when it started to look like the S-80, it was agreed to collaborate in a joint venture[clarification needed] based on the French S-80.[8] This joint design was shown at Euronaval [fr] in October 1990.[8]

The end of the Cold War meant that funding dried up and the joint venture had to wait until 1997 for their first sale - to Chile - of the new design,[9] which was designated the Scorpène class in export markets. The same year Spain started to look again at its requirements, and in 1998 they indicated that they would buy four Scorpènes,[8] optionally with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system for greater endurance when submerged. A staff requirement for the S-80 Scorpène variant was completed in October 2001.[10] This was soon overtaken by events, as the Armada (navy) became more interested in using submarines for power projection than in a more static, defensive role.[10] This shift was codified in guidance of January 2002 from the Chief of Naval Operations and in the strategic defence review of February 2003.[10] The new requirement called for a larger submarine with better endurance and land-attack missiles, which became known as the S-80A design. This was an AIP submarine with a hull diameter of 7.3 metres (23 ft 11 in) compared to 6.2 metres (20 ft 4 in) for the Scorpène family, a submerged displacement of around 2,990 tonnes versus 1,740 tonnes, larger rudder surfaces and a different fin position.[10]

The Spanish government approved the purchase of four S-80A submarines in September 2003 and signed a contract with Izar on 24 March 2004.[11] The original deal was €1,756m to design and build four submarines,[11] about €439m per boat, but by 2010 this had increased to €2,212m[12] (€553m/boat). The plan envisaged the first boat to be delivered in 2011 but government dithering over who should supply the combat system pushed it back to 2013.[10] In 2011 Spain's budget crisis further delayed the first delivery until 2015, with the remaining boats being delivered at one year intervals until 2018.[13] Construction of S-81 began on 13 December 2007.[14] In January 2012 the names were announced, honouring three engineers who made submarines and the first commander of Spain's submarine force respectively - Isaac Peral (S-81), Narciso Monturiol (S-82),[15] Cosme García (S-83) and Mateo García de los Reyes (S-84).[16]

By May of 2013, with over US$680 million of the project's US$3 billion budget for the four submarines spent, an overweight issue was discovered and eventually made public. Navantia engineers had miscalculated the weight of the submarines by some 100 t (98 long tons; 110 short tons) of the total 2000 tonne mass of the submarines, more than enough to sink the submarines if not fixed.[17] As of 2013 Navantia announced the issue would delay the delivery of the first submarine to the Spanish Navy until at least 2017.[18] but in the event, that proved optimistic. Lengthening the submarine created additional buoyancy.[3] Navantia signed on the US company General Dynamics Electric Boat to help solve the excess weight design issue.[19] In September 2014, the overweight issue was reported to have been resolved in design changes and the construction work to be ready to resume in late October 2014.[20][clarification needed] In November 2014, Navantia again reported having completed the redesign work to address the problem of overweight. In all, the hull would be lengthened by ten metres, and the displacement increased by 100 tons. As of January 2018, the intended delivery date of the first submarine was to be September 2022,[21] but this was not achieved. At the time of the boat's launch in 2021 it was indicated that the plan was for the first boat to start sea trials in 2022 and be delivered in 2023.[22]

In January 2017, it was reported that the air-independent propulsion system would not be ready in time for the delivery of the first submarine.[23] In November 2018 Abengoa and Tecnicas Reunidas companies stated that the test for the revolutionary AIP engine of the submarine were a complete success.[24] The Indian Navy considered the S-80 for its next generation of submarines under Project 75I.[25][needs update]

Combat Systems[edit]

The Integrated Combat System Core (ICSC) is called VC 9.0 SCA.[26] The ICSC provides set of weapons and sensors of the Combat System with an optimal management of the command and control center, allowing to acquire, evaluate and present all the necessary information for the offensive, defensive or intelligence gathering actions at each moment. The Ship is fitted with active and passive sonars with accurate electromagnetic detection systems. The submarine can communicate via Link-11 and Link-22 data links.[26]


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 is 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 sea water in one or more ejector venturi scrubber 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.[27]

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).[27] 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 an highly flexible coupling the RATO-S G-561W from Vulkan is installed.[28]

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 the dependence on a foreign manufacturer. The program has a 6-year horizon to develop a 300 kW prototype.[29]


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 of time without being detected and their ability to operate in possible conflict zones.[30]

Capabilities include:

  • A combat system for multiple target acquisition in different scenarios
  • The ability to transport personnel, including special operations forces
  • Low noise and magnetic signatures in order to minimize detection
  • Low radar and infrared signatures in order to minimize detection


Italics indicate estimated dates

Pennant no. Name[31] Laid down Launched Delivered Commissioned Notes
S-81 Isaac Peral 2005 7 May 2021[22] 2023[4] Isaac Peral is undergoing combat systems trials.[26]
S-82 Narciso Monturiol 2007 By 2025[4]
S-83 Cosme García 2009 By 2027[4]
S-84 Mateo García de los Reyes 2010 By 2029[4]

See also[edit]


This article incorporates material from Spanish Wikipedia

  1. ^ "Submarinos (VI): el S-80 tendrá capacidad para atacar con misiles objetivos en tierra". Por Tierra, Mar y Aire (in Spanish). 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  2. ^ "Submarinos Clase S-80 de Navantia". Buques y equipos (14/2021). p. 91. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Govan, Fiona (22 May 2013). "£2 billion Spanish navy submarine will sink to bottom of sea". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Spain to Launch First S80 Submarine April 22 – SeaWaves Magazine".
  5. ^ Watson, Eve (February 24, 2021). "Nuclear submarine HMS Talent returns to Plymouth". www.plymouthherald.co.uk.
  6. ^ "Navantia announce delays in the S-80 submarine programme". murciatoday.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Armada Española - Ministerio de Defensa - Gobierno de España". Armada.mde.es. Retrieved 2019-07-07.
  8. ^ a b c d e "The Market for Submarines Product Code #F673" (PDF). Forecast International. August 2010. pp. 5–8.
  9. ^ "SS-23 "O´Higgins"" (in Spanish). Armada de Chile. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e Scott, Richard (23 November 2007). "Spains S-80A submarine comes up to the surface". Jane's Navy International. Archived from the original on 25 October 2013. Alt URL
  11. ^ a b 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.
  12. ^ Ministerio de Defensa (September 2011). "Evaluación de los Programas Especiales de Armamento (PEAs)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Madrid: Grupo Atenea. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  13. ^ Ing, David (7 November 2011). "Spain's S 80A submarines delayed by funding cuts". Jane's Defence Security Report.
  14. ^ López, Antonio (14 December 2007). "Así se ensambla un submarino S-80". La Verdad (in Spanish).
  15. ^ "El cuarto nuevo submarino rendirá honor a García de los Reyes, militar y exministro de Marina fusilado en Paracuellos". ABC.
  16. ^ Mármol, G. (31 January 2012). "Los S-80 llevarán nombres clásicos". La Verdad (in Spanish).
  17. ^ Ferdman, Roberto A. (23 May 2013). "Spain just spent $680 million on a submarine that can't swim". Quartz. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  18. ^ "Navantia retrasa hasta dos años la entrega del primer submarino S-80 por problemas técnicos". Europa Press news agency. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  19. ^ Kington, Tom. "Navantia Gets US Help To Fix Overweight Sub". defensenews.com. Defense News (Gannett). Archived from the original on June 28, 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  20. ^ Navantia corrige el proyecto del S-80 y espera la orden para retomar la obra. Antonio López, La Verdad.
  21. ^ Villarejo, Esteban (2018-01-02). "Submarinos (III): Defensa prevé invertir 1.500 millones adicionales para el nuevo S-80" (in Spanish). ABC. Retrieved 2018-04-08. El calendario de entregas de los cuatro nuevos submarinos de la clase S-80 se estima ahora en: septiembre de 2022, mayo de 2024, marzo de 2026 y julio de 2027.
  22. ^ a b Vavasseur, Xavier (May 10, 2021). "Navantia's new submarine S-81 'Isaac Peral' now in the water for pierside trials".
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-27. Retrieved 2017-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Infodefensa.com, Revista Defensa. "Técnicas Reunidas y Abengoa completan con éxito sus sistemas AIP para el S-80". Infodefensa.
  25. ^ "India, Spain ink agreement on defence cooperation". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 27 October 2012.
  26. ^ a b c GDC (2021-08-11). "Navantia Starts Combat Systems Trial of Spanish S-81 Submarine "Isaac Peral"". Global Defense Corp. Retrieved 2021-08-11.
  27. ^ a b "Armada Española". armada.mde.es. Ministry of Defence, Government of Spain. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  28. ^ B&E. "B&E Buques y Equipos de la Marina Civil - Portada". www.buquesyequipos.es. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  29. ^ Infodefensa.com, Revista Defensa (2020-12-22). "Defensa encarga un primer prototipo de la futura pila de combustible del S-80 - Noticias Infodefensa España". Infodefensa.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  30. ^ "Armada Española". armada.mde.es. Ministry of Defence, Government of Spain. Archived from the original on 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  31. ^ "Defensa asigna los nombres de los cuatro 'padres' del submarino para los S-80 que construye Navantia". murciaeconomía.com. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-01-30.