Barrow, United Kingdom. - BAE Systems will supply a key part for the Spanish Navy's new S80 submarine programme under a contract signed with Navantia SA of Spain. This is the first submarine export order in more than 20 years for the company.
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 under the terms of the multi million-pound agreement. BAE Systems will also provide technical support and assistance in aspects of pressure hull fabrication to Navantia as the overall 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 arranged for the massive press to be dismantled, refurbished and then rebuilt in the specialist steel-working facility at the Barrow shipyard.
BAE Systems Submarine Solutions has already begun work on the contract programme. 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 as required.
Navantia group procurement president Jose Ramon said: "Navantia welcomes the support offered by BAE Systems, in particular their co-operative and collaborative approach de-risking the entire programme wherever possible."
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."
It is more than 20 years since the Barrow yard was involved in export work and the agreement with Navantia offers an opportunity for the business to capitalise on its non-nuclear submarine technology that has continued to develop in tandem with the development and construction of nuclear-powered vessels.
Simon Jones, head of commercial for future business, who led the bid to secure the Navantia agreement, said: "The depth of our knowledge and proven track record in submarine technology underpins why Navantia chose to work with us. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring the relationship with Navantia is not a traditional contractor/sub-contractor model.
"We are developing the basis of a long-term collaborative and co-operative relationship, equal in terms of responsibility and benefit. We see this sort of arrangement as the future basis for business arrangements in our respective markets. We believe it the agreement represents a very important progression in the international submarine industry sector."
Navantia is the nationalised Spanish Naval shipbuilding industry and has shipyards in Cartagena, El Ferrol and Cadiz. It has the prime contract for four S80 2,400 tonne submarines for the Spanish Navy to be built in Cartagena. The S80 program could include up to eight submarines.
Source: BAE Systems Wins First Submarine Export Order for 20 Years
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