• Spain's news in English
 

€530m bill for Spain's 'sinking submarines'

Published: 20 May 2013 14:02 GMT+02:00

Sunday's El Mundo newspaper reported on the latest developments in the submarine saga that has given Spain's defence department a sinking feeling.

The €2.2 billion contract to design and build four S-80 underwater craft, billed as "the most modern submarine in the word" has been put on red alert after engineers found flaws in the plans and sounded the klaxon.

€530 million had already been spent when calculations made by engineers at Navantia, the construction firm, revealed that the submarine as designed would dive to the bottom of the sea and stay there due to excess weight.

Opposition party United Left has mocked the development in parliament and demanded explanations.

Two possible solutions have been proposed to help the fat-bottomed sub get off the ground: trim its weight or make it longer.

The second is more feasible but also more expensive as every extra metre added to the submarine would increase its cost by more than €7.5 million.

The president of the Navantia board has defended the work of the company's Cartagena shipyard and complained of "meddling" by unqualified people.

He explained that it had been reported as far back as 2005 that the development process was not being properly followed and that there was a lot of necessary improvisation due to the addition of new elements at the request of the Ministry of Defence.

The Spanish navy will take delivery of the four submarines next year, in the hope that they will be capable of floating.  

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Football focus
Barcelona one step closer to title hat-trick
Barcelona after winning the Spanish league on May 23rd. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Barcelona one step closer to title hat-trick

Barcelona can move another step closer to just the second treble in the club's 115-year history when they host Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday. READ  

Military plane crash
'Assembly problem' to blame for Airbus crash
A stock image of the Airbus A400M in flight. Photo: Remy Gabalda / AFP

'Assembly problem' to blame for Airbus crash

Black boxes from the A400M that crashed in Seville on May 9th confirms that there were "no structural faults". READ  

The Local List
Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid
It's World Hamburger Day. Photo: Silver Diner / Wikimedia

Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid

To celebrate World Hamburger Day (yes, it really exists) here is The Local's pick of some of the best burgers in Madrid. READ  

Spanish judge opens case against Boko Haram
Chadian soldiers display arms captured from Boko Haram in northern Nigeria in April 2015. Photo: Philippe Desmazes

Spanish judge opens case against Boko Haram

A Spanish High Court judge has agreed to hear a lawsuit against Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram and its leader Abubakar Shekau for crimes against humanity and terrorism. READ  

Catalan lions and bears to start new life in USA
A lioness sleeps in Madrid's zoo. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Catalan lions and bears to start new life in USA

The wild animals have finally found a new home across the Atlantic after years spent in limbo since their Catalan safari park went bankrupt. READ  

Shocking video
Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage
Each year horses, donkeys and mules suffer abuse during El Rocio. Photo: PACMA

Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage

Shocking footage reveals the cruelty suffered by horses, donkeys and mules during Andalusia’s largest and most famous pilgrimage. READ  

Eta weapons cache found in French villa
A man walks past a mural in Hernani. Photo: Ander Arrizurieta / AFP

Eta weapons cache found in French villa

Police raided a villa in the southern French town of Biarritz on Thursday and found weapons and bomb-making materials thought to belong to Basque separatist group Eta, according to security sources. READ  

The Local List
The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona
Barcelona is a foodie paradise. Photo: www.hofmann-bcn.com

The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the best European cities for foodies, where you can find everything from Michelin starred greatness to restaurants that have been in the same family for generations. Barcelona expert Rob Dobson tells us his top ten foodie favourites. READ  

John Kerry to make first official visit to Spain
John Kerry pictured in Maryland in March 2015. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

John Kerry to make first official visit to Spain

US Secretary of State John Kerry will make his first official visit to Spain, after travelling to Geneva this weekend to meet with his Iranian counterpart in a push to seal a landmark nuclear deal. READ  

Gang trafficking Afghans to EU busted in Spain
The gang operated out of Madrid. Photo: mwagner01 / Freeimages.com

Gang trafficking Afghans to EU busted in Spain

Police in Spain have broken up a gang that smuggled Afghans into Europe for a fee of €23,000 READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Education
7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English
Features
7 reasons why Spain's the best place on earth
National
What’s on in Spain: May 2015
National
The perks and quirks of having a baby in Spain
National
Iceland revokes order to 'kill Basques on sight'
National
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
National
Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
National
Spain among ten best countries to be a mum
National
The ten greatest things about Spain (in the UK)
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Features
Top ten: Madrid's best rooftop bars
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
First house sold by lottery ticket in Spain
National
Official: Francisco Franco was a dictator
National
Olives and vino at risk from climate change
National
Olé! Madonna orders tour bullfighting suits
National
Jihadists planned attacks in Spain: judge
Politics
Spain's 'Citizens' party fires up voters
Travel
'No pooing': village tells pilgrims in north Spain
National
Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims
National
Town in shock at expat double murder
National
Brit family of four dead after Gibraltar stabbing
National
What's on in Spain: April 2015
National
Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl
National
Could this be Spain's own Maggie Thatcher?
National
Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports
National
What country is Catalonia most like?
International
Exposed: actress who faked Oscar glory
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,368
jobs available