SAES will equip the S-80 class submarines with the latest generation smart mines

The public company will provide state-of-the-art multi-influence mines that will allow the detection of underwater threats and address different scenarios based on the signals received. 

SAES has been awarded this important contract from the Ministry of Defence, which represents another technological leap in this type of weaponry that will be incorporated into the S-80 class submarines and will be developed over five years with an amount of more than 15 million euros. 

The Council of Ministers on July 4th authorised the framework agreement for the acquisition of last generation smart mines for the S-80 class submarines that Navantia is building for the Spanish Navy, the first delivery of which was on Thursday, November 30th. This framework agreement is a five-year operation with an estimated value of 15.5 million euros. The aim is to incorporate new mines with the latest technological advances. 

SAES’s naval mines are the most advanced intelligent naval mines currently in production. They are manufactured in three different models, depending on the different depths and characteristics of the waters: moored mines, low-profile mines, and those that will go on the S-80, the cylindrical bottom mines. Their sensors allow the measurement of magnetic, electric, acoustic, pressure, and seismic influences. However, the true intelligence of the mine lies in the processing of these influences, making it a more effective and safer naval mine in the detection of possible underwater threats. 

This is the second mine contract for the S-80s signed by the Ministry of Defence and SAES, following the one formalised at the end of 2022 for the supply of multi-influence bottom mines in their training version (known as dummy), for an amount of 650,000 euros and a duration of two years. They are used for training tasks in the mining area and are prepared for launch from the torpedo tubes of the submarines, an activity that has been successfully carried out as part of the S81 acceptance test schedule. 

As stated by the General Manager of SAES, Cesar Solano, “the signing of this contract with the Ministry of Defence represents another technological leap in this type of weaponry that will be incorporated into the S-80 class submarines, demonstrating that we continue to be at the forefront in the development of intelligent naval mines, competing internationally and once again putting our capabilities in hydroacoustic and multi-influence at the service of the Spanish Navy.” 

Other contributions from SAES to the S-80

SAES is the only Spanish company with sonar (design and production) and underwater acoustics capabilities. The company’s extensive collaboration in the S-80 class submarine programme is backed by its technological capacity, proprietary developments, high specialisation in acoustics, and solid experience in large naval programmes at a national and international level.

In addition to the bottom mines, SAES contributes to the S-80 programme the acoustic classification system, the sonar performance prediction system, the noise monitoring system, and the target motion analysis system. It has also developed the towed sonar, the HMI of all sonars, the stimulation of sonars, and the simulation of the acoustic environment for the Tactical Simulator.

Furthermore, it is in charge of the fine-tuning of the towed sonar, and provides various engineering works for the tactical system, the acoustic system, and the development of the submarine’s tests. Finally, SAES’s participation is also essential in supporting the life cycle and maintenance of the submarine throughout its useful life.

In summary, SAES develops technology so that the S-80 class submarines can listen under the sea and interpret what they hear, identifying and classifying what is happening around them.