Spain seeks Conn. help to slim down overweight sub - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Spain seeks help with sub too heavy to surface

Posted: Updated:

By MICHAEL MELIA

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A new, Spanish-designed submarine has a weighty problem: The vessel is more than 70 tons too heavy, and officials fear if it goes out to sea, it will not be able to surface.

And a former Spanish official says the problem can be traced to a miscalculation — someone apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place.

"It was a fatal mistake," said Rafael Bardaji, who until recently was director of the Office of Strategic Assessment at Spain's Defense Ministry.

The Isaac Peral, the first in a new class of diesel-electric submarines, was nearly completed when engineers discovered the problem. A U.S. Navy contractor in Connecticut, Electric Boat, has signed a deal to help the Spanish Defense Ministry find ways to slim down the 2,200-ton submarine.

The agreement with Groton, Conn.-based Electric Boat calls for Spain to pay $14 million over three years for an assessment of the problem with the S-80 submarine program and the scope of the work that would be required to correct it, the Spanish Defense Ministry said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Bardaji, now a senior fellow with the Strategic Studies Group think tank in Madrid, said officials will review options provided by Electric Boat. But he said the preference has been to extend the length of the submarine's hull, perhaps by 5 to 6 meters, to increase buoyancy.

Otherwise, the weight of the submarine would have to be reduced, and he said the Spanish Navy would not want to compromise features such as the combat system or an air-independent propulsion system.

The Isaac Peral, named for a 19th century Spanish submarine designer, is one of four vessels in the class that are in various stages of construction. The country has invested about $2.7 billion in the program. The first was scheduled to be delivered in 2015 but the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder, Navantia, has said the weight problems could cause delays of up to two years.

The 233-foot-long submarine will carry a crew of 32, along with eight special forces troops, and weapons systems for surface and anti-submarine warfare.

The Defense Ministry said technical problems are normal for projects of this scale.

"The technology challenges that these programs face during development are much more than simple calculations," the ministry said. "All the major military programs, especially submarines, have experienced delays and often have required the support of a technology partner."

Bardaji said the problem was discovered in the second half of last year, and Navantia told defense officials that somebody had apparently put a decimal point in the wrong place.

"Apparently somebody in the calculations made a mistake in the very beginning and nobody paid attention to review the calculations," he said.

Electric Boat, the primary contractor for the U.S. Navy's fleet of nuclear submarines, accepted the contract through a foreign military sales agreement between the American Navy and the Spanish Defense Ministry, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command announced this week.

Electric Boat, a division of General Dynamic Corp., has helped other countries with their submarine programs. It began assisting with development of the Astute-class nuclear attack submarine for the British Royal Navy in 2003, and it is working under another foreign military sales agreement on Australia's Collins class of submarines.

_____

Associated Press writer Jorge Sainz contributed to this report from Madrid.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Connecticut NewsConnecticut NewsMore>>

  • Girl fights to bring 22-year-old prom date

    Girl fights to bring 22-year-old prom date

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:50:19 GMT
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
    A Connecticut teenager is appealing to her local Board of Education after school officials rejected her request to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to her prom.
  • Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

    Free dental clinic to draw thousands in Hartford

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:24 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:24:06 GMT
    More than 2,000 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut.  The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
    More than 2,000 patients are expected to seek free dental work at an annual clinic in Connecticut.  The seventh annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
  • Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:33:11 GMT
    New Haven police say they have charged a Westbrook with making a hoax call in November to say an armed man was heading to shoot up Yale University.
    Police say they have charged a Connecticut man with making a call in November in which he falsely claimed an armed man was on his way to shoot up Yale University. New Haven police said Wednesday that 50-year-old Jeffrey Jones, of Westbrook, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, threatening, reckless endangerment, misuse of the emergency 911 system and breach of peace.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices