The first step towards guaranteeing that four S-80 class submarines remain afloat has already been taken at the public dock works in Cartagena. The operators working in the service of the State have completed the works ordered by the Spanish Navy to extend each of the four submersibles by 10 meters in order to better distribute the weight of the vessel and prevent its sinking.

The newspaper ‘La Verdad’ has been informed from its sources on the project that the operation consisted of welding the parts to their respective resistant hulls. This completes one of the stages planned in order to resolve the problems of ‘deviations relating to the balance of weights’.

Specifically, the manufacture of the submersibles was halted at the beginning of 2013 when it was detected that the first vessel in the series, the ‘Isaac Peral S-81’ had an excess weight of 75 to 100 tonnes for its length.

After putting into practice the engineering solution presented by engineers from the United States, who were consulted by the Ministry of Defense, Navantia shall focus on the design aspects of other parts of the vessel.

The use of a three-dimensional (3-D) system will not result in an interruption to the construction works of the vessel, as stated yesterday by a spokesperson for the public company in Cartagena.

Such was the reaction by Navantia to the warnings voiced in the Regional Assembly by the president of the workers’ committee, Eduardo Aranda, who assured that the production of the class 80 submarines would “suffer a delay of several months” the following year due to the modification to the project.

After a meeting with the parliamentary groups in the Parliament, Aranda stated that this delay was due to a change in the design system and that a 3-D technique was now being used.

Aranda declared that efforts were being made so that at the beginning of 2016 the relevant modifications would be ready but in any case the workers will not begin working on the production line until the end of the year.

There will be no stoppages in 2016.

“There will be a few months during which we will not have a workload on the dockyard side and we want to guarantee this with a large scale careening” or inspection of the submersibles of the S-70 class, stated Aranda. He added that it would be necessary to introduce an item into the State’s General Budget. The company denied that there would be stoppages and sent a message of tranquility both to the workers at the dock works as well as to the auxiliary companies.

In the Parliament of the Autonomous Community, the delegates from the workers’ committee similarly requested support from the political representatives to carry out new careenings or large-scale repairs on the S-70 class; to halt the aging of the fleet and the loss of jobs, considering that there are 1166 workers whose average age exceeds 50; and a non-legislative proposal for the defense of the naval industry in Cartagena.


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