Submarine Delay Leaked: Reason is Preposterous
BackgroundS-80A Class submarines have been under construction for the Spanish Navy since 2007 to replace Agosta class diesel submarines. Four boats were ordered to date, of which 3 are under construction at Navantia in Cartagena.
Remarkable features include: A high-purity (bio-ethanol derived) hydrogen air propulsive system (AIP); wider diameter (38.3 ft versus 20 ft for French Scorpènes), greater submerged displacement (2,400 tonnes vs. 1,740 tonnes for Scorpènes), enlarged rudder, a relocated sail, and an optronic scope..
Spain's S-80A design enhancements are intended to provide increased underwater endurance, to load land-attack missiles, and to accomodate special forces combatants and gear.
Delivery of the first submarine was originally scheduled for October 2011. Delivery was later modified to October 2013. An ensuing budget crisis in 2011 further postponed delivery of the first boat, S-81 Isaac Peral until hopefully, 2016.
The Story as Leaked
According to unofficial sources cited by El Confidencial Digital, S-80A design weight suddenly has a serious buoyancy problem. Mounting weight tallys far exceed initial design specs due to additional electronics, combat equipment, and habitability improvements.
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If confirmed, modifications to ensure survivability and operability may delay delivery of S-81 by at least a few months into 2017. Since Mistral, which finished herlast refit in 2011, is currently due to retire in 2016, Spain could have only one submarine, the Galerna, for at least one full year.
M.E: Navantia can solve the issue without the monumental task of increasing the hull's length to compensate for the under-buoyancy. Otherwise, the strange tale may just be a rather pathetic ruse to obtain increased funding.