BAE Systems will supply a key part for the Spanish Navy’s new S80 submarine programme under a contract signed with Navantia of Spain. This is the first submarine export order in more than 20 years for the company.
Under the terms of the multi million-pound agreement, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions will fabricate and assemble fore and aft pressure hull domes for four diesel-electric S80 submarines in its Barrow-in-Furness shipyard. BAE Systems will also provide technical support and assistance in aspects of pressure hull fabrication to Navantia as the S80 programme develops.
The domes will be manufactured using a £2 million 2,500 tonne dome press facility which will also be used to create the pressure hull domes for future Astute submarines. The press was purchased from former supplier Motherwell Bridge Steel in Scotland to secure the future supply of the pressure hull domes following the latter’s decision to cease manufacture of the domes.
BAE Systems Submarine Solutions has already begun work on the contract. The first two boat sets will be fully welded and completed in Barrow. The last two will be partly assembled and welded in Barrow, with final welding set to take place in Navantia’s facilities in Cartagena, Spain with support from BAE Systems Solutions.
BAE Systems Submarines managing director Murray Easton commented: ‘This contract marks a welcome return for us to the export market, although the Astute programme remains the primary focus for the yard.’