• 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
The Local List
Ten 'ham'-azing things you really need to know

Ten 'ham'-azing things you really need to know

Hog the limelight, ham it up or boar your companions senseless the next time you are being swined and dined, with The Local´s hamazing facts about jamon. READ  

Women lose out as gender pay gap widens

Women lose out as gender pay gap widens

Spain's gender pay gap is increasing, with women on average earning 19.3 percent less than men and rarely getting promoted above them, figures released on Thursday show. READ  

Rare shark captured off Barcelona coast
A thresher shark has been captured off the Catalan coast. Photo: Petter Lindgren/Wikimedia.

Rare shark captured off Barcelona coast

Fishermen off the coast of Barcelona have captured a shark, whose species in in danger of extinction. READ  

Greece Bailout
Juncker: 'No diabolical plan against Greece'
Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, at a meeting on Wednesday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP

Juncker: 'No diabolical plan against Greece'

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday there was no "diabolical plan" by Spain and Portugal to topple Greece's new hard-left government after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused the countries of undermining debt talks with Brussels. READ  

Porky China hogs Spain's innards exports
Pig heads, brains, intestines and stomach are just some of the parts exported to China. Photo of a pig's head

Porky China hogs Spain's innards exports

Pig stomach, brain and intestines are just some of the swine parts sold to China, which has become the biggest importer of Spanish pork off-cuts. READ  

Buxom barmaid job ad sparks outrage

Buxom barmaid job ad sparks outrage

A bar in northern Spain sparked outrage with a sexist job ad for "big breasted waitresses". READ  

Basques wish German tourists 'willkommen'
Photo: Fernando Pascullo/Wikimedia Commons

Basques wish German tourists 'willkommen'

The Basque Country is trying to tempt German holidaymakers away from the Costas to visit their region instead with a new targeted tourism campaign. READ  

Spanish PM to mop up in flood area
Firefighters row along a flooded street in Tudela, along the river Ebro. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Spanish PM to mop up in flood area

Mariano Rajoy will visit the areas flooded along the River Ebro on Friday, as the Spanish government announce a €60 million aid package for the cleanup operation. READ  

Spain arrests Ukraine's ex-finance minister
Ukraine's former finance minister has been arrested in the Spanish coastal town of Altea. Photo of Altea:Shutterstock

Spain arrests Ukraine's ex-finance minister

Spanish police on Wednesday detained Ukraine's former finance minister Yuri Kolobov who is wanted by Kiev for alleged fraud and theft of public funds, a police source said. READ  

Spain and Portugal could be EU energy saviours
Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Spain and Portugal could be EU energy saviours

The EU took a step Wednesday to reduce its energy dependence, especially on Russia, seeking instead to improve connections between renewable energy giants Spain and Portugal, and the rest of Europe. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports
National
What country is Catalonia most like?
International
Exposed: actress who faked Oscar glory
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
Sponsored Article
Free spirit or tourist: what sort of expat are you?
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
National
Eight cool things the crisis did for Spain
National
There is joy in learning something new yourself'
Travel
Top Ten: Spain's best beaches for 2015
National
Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain
What's On
Spain's craziest carnivals
National
Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
International
Vinnie Jones teaches Spanish in hilarious ad
What's On
Ten golden rules for snagging a Spanish man
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
National
Are these Spain's most romantic couples ever?
Property
House sales up for first year since crisis began
Gallery
The highs and lows of the Spanish property market
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
National
The five strangest things about Spaniards
Society
Bizarre Spanish fashions you shouldn't try at home
What's On
Top Spanish director to open Berlin Film Festival
National
Young and old, rich and poor join left-wing march
What's On
What's on in Spain: February 2015
International
Spain planned to invade Australia in 1790s
National
Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers
National
Moving to Spain: a guide for beginners
National
Spain's new penal code: key talking points
International
Spain among Europe's cheapest nations: study
Features
Top ten surprising Spanish inventions
National
Court to study paternity suit against ex-king
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
National
Top ten: must-know Spanish superstitions
International
'Change Schengen rules to catch Islamists': Spain
What's On
Ten ways to spice up your Spanish life in 2015
Health
Spain tops world organ donation rankings
National
5 things no one tells you about renting in Spain
National
'No Pants Subway Ride' hits Madrid Metro
National
Spain's satirical mags back Charlie Hebdo
National
Finally: a Spanish PM bothers to visit Andorra
National
Woman fined for being kissed while driving
Travel
Top travel highlights in Spain for 2015
National
Gallery: Hits and misses of Antonio Banderas
National
Spain's top news in 2015: The Local's predictions
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

881
jobs available