Spanish Defense Commitments – Navy


S-80 class submarines

Displacement: 1,565 tons submerged

Dimensions: 61.7 x 6.2 x ?? meters

Propulsion: Diesel-electric, AIP, 1 shaft, 3,800 shp, 20 knots

Crew: 32-35

The S-80 submarine’s sonar suite will comprise of a cylindrical array sonar, a flank array sonar, a passive ranging sonar, and a mine and obstacle detection sonar. These facilities are being provided by Lockheed Martin. The support structures and fairings for the sonars are being provided by Goodrich.

The S-80 will also be integrated with a towed array sonar system, supplied by QinetiQ, an interception positioning system and an own noise analyser.

It will be fitted with satellite communication systems developed by Indra and a guidance automation unit distributed intelligence (GAUDI) autopilot system developed by Avio.

The submarine will be equipped with Aries radars, Friend or Foe identification systems (IFF) and modular Pegaso defence electronic systems supplied by Indra.

The submarine will also be enhanced by integrating non-penetrating all-weather optronic imaging systems, hoistable masts and periscopes, which will be supplied by Kollmorgen Electro-Optical and Calzoni.

Armament: 6 21 inch torpedo tubes (18 torpedoes and Harpoon missiles)

New design to replace the Daphne class submarines.

Number Name                   Year       Homeport           Notes

[S81                                     2005    Cartagena            planned December 2022 ]

[S82                                                 Cartagena           planned]

[S83                                                 Cartagena            planned]

[S84                                                  Cartagena           planned]

Galerna (Agosta) class coastal submarines

Displacement: 1,767 ton submerged

Dimensions: 67.57 x 6.8 meters (222.5 x 22 feet)

Propulsion: Diesel electric, 2 diesels, 1 shaft, 4,600 shp, 20 knots

Crew: 50

Sonar: DUUA-2A, DUUA-2B, DSUV 22A, DUUX-2A (S73 & S74: DUUX-5)

Fire Control: DLA-2A

Armament: 4 21 inch torpedo tubes (20 torpedoes)

Spanish-built French Agosta class with slightly different electronics.

Number Name                   Year       Homeport           Notes

S71     Galerna                1981    Cartagena

S72     Siroco                      1982    Cartagena decommissioned 2012

S73     Mistral                     1983    Cartagena

S74     Tramontana            1984    Cartagena

Delfin (Daphne) class coastal submarines

Displacement: 1,043 ton submerged

Dimensions: 57.57 x 6.74 meters (189 x 22 feet)

Propulsion: Diesel electric, 2 diesels, 2 shafts, 2,000 shp, 15 knots

Crew: 56

Sonar: DUUA-2B, DSUV 22A, DUUX-2A.

Fire Control: DLT-D-3

Armament: 12 21 inch torpedo tubes (12 torpedoes)

Spanish-built French Daphne class with improved electronics.

Number Name                   Year       Homeport           Notes

S61     Delfin                       1973    Cartagena

S62     Tonina                    1973    Cartagena

S63     Marsopa                  1975    Cartagena

S64     Narval                       1975    Cartagena

The first major change in the long dormant WEU (West European Union), the defense arm of the European Community (later European Union). The showcase for this change, calculated to energize European capabilities without recourse to NATO and, in particular, the United States, became the Eurocorps in which the Spanish contribution of the “Brunete” (1994) demonstrated a new Spanish presence in European affairs. Building on the Eurocorps formula, the WEU continued the next year with inceptions of EuroFor and EuroMarFor standing forces earmarked by Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal. A Spanish admiral led the standing naval force in the Mediterranean in the first year of its existence.

The first chance for Spanish military action in this 1990s came in supporting the United States in Spain as part of the UN prosecution against Iraq during 1990-91. So soon after breaking away from further dependence upon U. S. aid in 1988, the Socialist government of President Felipe González proved surprisingly helpful to U. S. forces in Spain. Permission was given to base twenty-two B-52 bombers at Morón and fly their bombing missions against Iraqi forces. Another forty aerial refuelers operated out of Morón and supported these aircraft, and the hundreds of U. S. tactical aircraft ferried through Spain to the Gulf region. When the bombers at Morón began to run out of ordnance, Spanish air force and army aircraft and heavy lift helicopters carried the bombs from storage sites at Torrejón and Zaragoza to maintain the operational tempo. Over 60% of U. S. airlift to the Gulf transited Spanish bases and local commanders stepped up security at the U. S. facilities; Spanish forces deployed ships to the Gulf in 1990 and took over other allied responsibilities in the Mediterranean to free them for deployments. Finally, Spanish air force and army troops deployed to Turkey in mid-1991 as part of Combined Task Force Provide Comfort, a U. S.-led UN mission into Northern Iraq to furnish local security to Iraqi Kurds in wake of the Iraqi defeat in Operation Desert Storm. A reinforced battalion of the Parachute Brigade (586 troops) operated with the U. S. and British forces on the ground, including the U. S. 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which had exercised that spring with the Spanish Legion at Almería.

Spanish defense doctrine created a so-called strategic “Axis” drawn along the line Balearic Islands-Straits-Canary Islands in the 1980s, both to orient its planning and to convince allies of the importance of the southern flank. In particular, Spain sought to advise allies of its archipelago responsibilities in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and to stress the vital role of the Straits zone, including the Ceuta and Melilla enclaves.

Spanish defense forces undertook developing a joint warfighting doctrine. Cooperation among the three services traditionally had proven nonexistent. However, the replacement of the former service ministries by a modern MOD structure and the demands for modernization of forces and warfighting techniques for national and European defense needs brought joint operations to the forefront. Approved in 1995, the new policy formally charged the chief of the defense staff (JEMAD) with the operational command of the units assigned by the separate services for a mission. The staff exercised this control for years in exercises and simulations, and first put the doctrine into action in the Perejil Island recovery operation of 2002.

The services were ordered each to form “operational commands” suitable for expeditionary service in 1991. The commanders of the Mandos Operativos take the character of service component chiefs, each responsible for deploying and tactically directing their units under the command of the JEMAD or a joint deployment headquarters. The Army initially designated its FAR headquarters, the Air Force created its Aerial Operational Command (MOA), and the Navy entrusted its fleet commander (ALFLOT) with these responsibilities. The defense structure changes and force modernization programs fleshed out these and other organizational aims during 1996-2000.

In terms of the military balance, Maghreb nations pose so little offensive threat to Spain and other nearby countries that Spanish Defense Minister Gustavo Suarez Pertierra could assert (1995) “we have no enemies” as the slogan of Spanish defense policy. Reduced tensions in Central Europe, however, contrasted with increased instability in the Mediterranean littoral. Spanish defense policy continued to evolve from the old Francoist policy of peninsular defense and colonial policing to embrace a modern version of territorial defense (mainly air defense and a ground reserve) coupled with modern forces necessary to maintain Spain’s status in NATO, the EC, and the UN.

Even in the event of ruptured relations, the Maghreb nations pose very little military threat to Spanish territory. The Spanish Air Force will replace its older U.S.-supplied radars and command and control systems with a modern SIMCA system (Sistema Integrado de Mando y Control Aereo), featuring three-dimensional radars, NATO and AWACS interoperability, and hardened command bunkers at Morón, Torrejón, and Canary Island sites. The NATO AWACS also serves to fill in radar gaps in the south, especially against low-fliers. Fighter squadrons are well exercised in the defense of Spanish airspace, and, with a few deployments from garrison bases-e. g., to the Balearic and Canary Islands-should be capable of handling a level of intrusion in excess of the threat.

Seaward defenses against raiding patrol craft, mines, and submarines remained the primary effort of the Spanish Navy, assisted by P-3C aircraft of the Air Force and Harpoon-armed EF-18 fighters. The light carrier Task Group Alpha, centered on the carrier Principe de Asturias, is fully oriented to classic sea control missions. The Mine Warfare Flotilla was transferred from its idyllic base at Palma de Mallorca to the naval base at Cartagena in 1992 mainly so that it could concentrate better on the vital shipping lanes into Cádiz, where 70% of Spanish sea imports arrive. The eight (recently reduced to five) Spanish submarines are kept in technically upgraded condition and exercise frequently in ASW roles. Amphibious potential continued to grow in Task Group Delta with the replacement of older transport ships with two Spanish-built amphibious assault ships and the naval infantry of the Tercio de la Armada, composed of a regimental landing team. The amphibious arm would prove essential in the event of a forced evacuation from Maghreb ports or a reinforcement of the Spanish enclave cities. The excellent Spanish Navy combat divers and the special operations companies of the naval infantry can perform hostage rescue actions.

The Navy

The Spanish Navy of the twenty-first century also aims at achieving a technological edge over its possible opponents, and musters over 11,000 enlisted personnel and draws 1,056 million of the 2006 budget. The navy takes advantage of an excellent relationship with the United States to purchase advanced systems such as the Aegis combat system, the Tomahawk land attack missile, and the SH-60 helicopter, but also has led the other services in establishing a solid national industrial base now producing and exporting advanced ships such as the F-100 air defense frigate and the S-80 submarine (Nansen and Scorpene class ships being built for Norway and Chile, respectively).

In 2005, the navy could line up one light aircraft carrier, five submarines (though one is scheduled to be retired in 2006), eleven frigates, six minesweepers, four amphibious ships, twelve patrol ships or corvettes, forty aircraft of all classes, and around fifty auxiliary ships, including an underway replenishment ship. In the same vein as the other services, the operational fleet, based at Rota, includes

Fleet Projection Group with the carrier Principe de Asturias and the amphibious ships carrying units of the naval infantry Tercio de Armada (TEAR). This Tercio forms as a brigade-sized formation that combines light infantry (two battalions), mechanized units (a tank company and a mechanized battalion supported by a self-propelled battery), and a special operations company, making it the most versatile unit in the Spanish armed forces.

• 41st Escort Squadron: six F-80 FFG frigates

• 31st Escort Squadron: three F-100 class frigates and two F-70 frigates

• Submarine Squadron: four Agosta class and one Daphne´ class submarines

• Aircraft flotilla: with helicopter and AV-8B Harrier squadrons

• Minesweeper flotilla: with six Segura class minesweepers

• Fleet replenishment ship Patiño

New programs include the Strategic Projection Ship (a large through-deck amphibious assault ship), an additional replenishment unit, two more F-100 frigates, four S-80 advanced diesel submarines, and four Maritime Action Ships (with a possible ten more to follow), as well as lesser units, like the twelve landing craft. The helicopter force is expected to receive twenty NH-90 helicopters, and it is hoped that JSF will be bought to replace the Harriers.

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