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of their Submarine Integrated Combat System (SUBICS). Lockheed Martin
say that this product has been derived from the company’s experience
with the USN and use a form of words suggesting that it is very similar to
the combat system on the ‘Virginia’ Class nuclear submarines. The system
for Spain is described as an advanced 21st century product featuring all
the most desirable features such as an open-architecture COTS-based
design. It is said to be highly modular, an example being that the consoles
are truly multi-purpose, where any one of them can perform any combat
system task. Some have wondered whether the US would actually release
one of their submarine combat systems to another country – but it must
be pointed that Spain is a very close ally and also that Washington has been
prepared to release one of their systems to another country – Australia.
The similarities with the ‘Virginia’ Class go beyond the combat system
architecture. The S-80 also has the same active torpedo discharge system
and several of the same masts as the ‘Virginia’. In this regard there are some
similarities to the way the Collins Class has been evolving.
Lockheed Martin are also supplying most of the sonars, including the
all-important cylindrical array which has just passed acceptance tests in
the United States. Other sonars are the 27 x 2 metre flank arrays. In addition
there are a total of six passive ranging sonars – three on each side of the
hull – and three acoustic intercept sonars, as well as a mine and obstacle
avoidance sonar. The towed array will be supplied by Spanish industry.
Navantia has their contract directly with Lockheed Martin rather than
through the FMS sales process. While Lockheed has overall responsibility
for the combat system, Navantia are involved in many areas of integration
and this is seen very much as a team effort. The overall work share in this
domain is probably 75 – 25 in favor of the US company.
There are two land based test sites, one in the US and the other in Spain.
Like the remainder of the program, the combat system work is said to be
on schedule and so far without major problems.
Even though Spain could have purchased the US Mk 48 ADCAP
heavyweight torpedo, the Armada chose on performance grounds to select
the Atlas Elektonik DM2A4. The future Tactical Land Attack Missile has not
yet been selected.
Many of the performance characteristics of the S-80 are classified and
the publicly available information is that it will have a top underwater
speed of greater than 19 knots and a diving depth in excess of 300 meters.
Like all modern submarines it has been designed to minimize radiated
noise by isolating as many items of machinery as possible. The use of a
seven-blade skew-back propeller – the choice of many navies – will reduce
cavitation. In essence the S-80 will be very quiet.
Finally, Navantia has established a good relationship with the Royal
Australian Navy as a consequence of being selected for the two largest
current surface ship projects – the Air Warfare Destroyer and the Amphibious
Support Ships - the latter being partially constructed in Spain. While it is
early days for both of these projects, they seem to be going well – or at least
those parts that are Navantia’s responsibility. Obviously the company is
now a serious contender for SEA 1000.
Land Warfare Conference: 15-19 November 2010
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Queensland
Full Spectrum Threats: Adaptive responses
Chief of Army Exercise (invitation only) 15-16 November, 2010
Workshops 16th November, 2010
Land Environment Working Group (LEWG)
Land Platform Technologies
Blast and Blast Protection
Amphibious Capability for Land Forces
Delegate Registrations and Exhibition Booth Registrations
(are available online at our website)
Please direct all enquires and correspondence to Land Warfare
Conference Support Office at the following address:
Land Warfare Conference Support Office
DSTO PO Box 1500 Edinburgh 5111
Tel: +61 8 7389 5455 Fax: + 61 8 7389 5196
DSC 0382 August 2010
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