According to Infodefensa, the submarine S-81 Isaac Peral will carry out the first surface navigation in the open sea at the end of May. The Ministry of Defense has confirmed that this milestone will take place within a month, during a visit, the fifth in just over a year, by Minister Margarita Robles to the Cartagena Arsenal and the nearby Navantia facilities to learn about the status of the program S-80 and more specifically the advances in the tests of the S-81.
At the Navantia shipyards, the Minister of Defense has been able to find out in detail the current status of the S-80 program, four state-of-the-art submarines that will be delivered to the Navy in the coming years. The president of the shipbuilding company, Ricardo Domínguez, has conveyed calm to the minister, assuring that «everything is developing as it should be, we are on the right track. You have to walk with a firm step to navigate safely».
Robles has also been informed of the details of the ship’s first surface navigation, which will take place once the safety tests have been passed. Subsequently, the first static immersion and first navigation in immersion will be carried out, before delivery to the Navy.
The minister stressed that this program «is very important for the Navy, for Cartagena and for Spain» and pointed out that «we must go little by little and follow the steps. We absolutely trust their professionalism».
The start of the sea trials was initially scheduled for the last week of March, in accordance with the deadlines handled by Defense, but it has been postponed due to technical issues. Despite this apparent delay in the program, both the manufacturer and the Ministry of Defense maintain for a year from now, in April 2023, the date of entry into service in the Navy of the first submarine of the S-80 series.
Three other submersibles named after pioneers of underwater navigation (the S-82 Narciso Monturiol, the S-83 Cosme García and the S-84 Mateo García de los Reyes) will be delivered to the Navy between 2024 and 2028. The two the latter will already have the Anaerobic Propulsion System (AIP) as standard, which allows them to generate electrical energy and navigate for weeks without going to the surface, providing tactical and discretionary capabilities that do not exist at the current date.
With the S-80 program, Spain enters the group of ten countries with the capacity to build conventional (non-nuclear) submarines, highlights the ministry. Robles has been accompanied by the Secretary of State for Defense, Esperanza Casteleiro; the Chief of the Navy General Staff, Admiral General Antonio Martorell; the General Director of Armament and Material, Admiral Aniceto Rosique, and the Admiral of Maritime Action, Juan Luis Sobrino, among others.