The Board of Directors of SAES has agreed to appoint Sofía Honrubia Checa, Commercial and Business Development Vice President in Navantia, as new president of SAES. They have also designated to Cristina Abad Salinas as new CEO, replacing the positions filled so far by Alfredo Gordo Álvarez. Likewise, Vicente Santamaría Calvario was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors.

Sofia Honrubia, front and right, and Cristina Abad, front and left, next to the Board of Director of SAES

Sofía Honrubia Checa, is a naval engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She was appointed director of SAES in June 2018 and is currently Commercial and Business Development Manager of Navantia, S.A., S.M.E., a company in which she has held different responsibilities for more than 20 years, both in national projects as international. From this position, the new president of SAES, has promoted the collaboration between Navantia and SAES.

Cristina Abad Salinas is an engineer in Automation and Industrial Electronics from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena. The new SAES director has 18 years of experience in the naval sector and during her career she has held various positions in relation to large programs such as the Spanish submarine S-80. Until her appointment at SAES she has held the position of deputy director of Technology Management, Cybersecurity and 4.0 at Navantia Sistemas, with the responsibility of promoting Technological Transformation in said division of Navantia, encompassing research, technological development and innovation activities (R + D + I) and cybersecurity. It should be noted that Cristina Abad worked at the beginning of her career as a systems engineer at SAES for the Norwegian F-310 frigate program and that since her previous duties at Navantia Sistemas she has collaborated closely with the company she now directs.

The SAES company, as a state mercantile company, is part of the state business public sector. It is attached to the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations through the commercial, also public, SAES CAPITAL, S.A., S.M.E. and this in turn through Navantia, all of them belonging to and included in the SEPI Group (State Company of Industrial Participations). From the shareholding point of view, SAES CAPITAL owns 51% of the shares and the rest belongs to the French company THALES DMS FRANCE SAS.

SAES is specialized in underwater acoustics and electronics and has been the leading company in Spain for sonar technology and anti-submarine warfare for more than 30 years. Some of its products are also destined for the civil market in the areas of critical infrastructure and ship safety and underwater measurement with environmental applications.

The company, which has participated in the large Spanish naval programs for submarines, mine-hunters, frigates, among other platforms, also has a marked international character, exporting to different countries such as France, the United States, Sweden, Chile, Colombia and Kazakhstan, among others.

SAES has recently obtained important contracts with Navantia and Thales in relation to the F-110 program, by which it contributes the acoustic processing of sonobuoys to the frigate and will undertake the manufacture, installation and testing of the Thales BMAS cylindrical sonar, as well as its integration in the sonar suite, among other jobs. In addition, the company will participate in supporting the life cycle of the S-80 and F-110 submarines. With these contracts, the company consolidates its position in the defense sector as a leading company in ASW technology.

How does noise affect marine life?

SAES joins the commemoration of the International Noise Awareness Day, looking to raise awareness of the impact of underwater noise produced by human activity on marine flora and fauna, such as maritime transport and offshore wind farms building

Why are marine mammals closing to the coast? Recently, there are many news about unusual sighting of cetaceans on the Spanish coasts. This is because the human noise produced in the sea has drastically decreased due to COVID-19 confinement and travel restrictions, inviting whales and dolphins to get closer to the coast.

underwater noise

Human activity in the marine environment produces an increase in the level of acoustic noise in this sea, which affects the well-being of marine fauna. In fact, the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), aimed at achieving and maintaining Good Environmental Status in European seas, includes the regulation of noise emissions in descriptor 11.

SAES, as a specialists in underwater technology for 31 years, is researching in this area for years. The company has developed equipment for the measurement of underwater noise and has participated and participates in different programs and studies related to the measurement and analysis and modeling of the underwater sound propagation. Actually, SAES in consortium with partners organizations, is currently preparing a proposal for the call for European H2020 projects, focused on evaluating and mitigating the impact of noise emissions from ships on marine fauna.

underwater noise measurement

Some house-made equipment from the company, such as the SDH smart digital hydrophone or the MIRS underwater measurement station, are used to carry out

scientific and environmental studies, as well as to measure and study the underwater noise produced by industrial activity and ships on sea. Thus the noise can be controlled in order to reduce the impact on sea produced by various activities such as maritime traffic, building activities, extraction platforms and offshore wind farms.

SAES, committed to you

“Stopping the coronavirus is everyone’s responsibility. If you protect yourself, you protect the others”.

SAES has adapted its activity faced with the public health crisis situation, following the declaration of a global pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the State of Alarm decreed by the Spanish Government, adopting preventive security measures.

In order to preserve the health of our employees and customers, SAES has followed the Government’s recommendations from the outset to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). Since March 16, on-site activities at SAES have been suspended, and we have started teleworking and time flexibility to continue with our projects and daily work, also facilitating the family and professional reconciliation of our staff.

The staff is demonstrating an exceptional level of commitment to the projects and the measures taken, and our goal is to overcome this crisis.

The previous week were imposed travel restrictions and event cancellation. It also was prepared all the necessary technological infrastructure to work remotely thus for most activities our employees are in their homes communicated and teleworking.

Additionally, we are following all governmental protocol for preventing coronavirus contagion.

We are aware that collaboration and individual responsibility are essential to overcome this health crisis among all. We have to work together, and we join to the gratitude and recognition to all the health personnel in Spain, and to all the groups that are adding their effort to the collective challenge of fighting against the Covid-19, especially our Armed Forces and State Security Corps.

SAES signs a contract with Thales to provide the Spanish frigates F-110 with sonar technology

The agreement is for 10 years and it is the second biggest contract signed by SAES

SAES signs a contract with Thales

It has been signed a contract between SAES and Thales that comprises the manufacturing, integration and tests of sonar systems for the F-110 frigates. The agreement is for 10 years and it is the most important contract signed by SAES since the S-80 Spanish submarine related contracts.

SAES has been supported by Thales and Navantia, who are shareholders of the company. This agreement consolidates SAES as a reference company in underwater electronics and acoustics in the defence Spanish sector, as well as, allow SAES participates, one more time, in the most important naval Spanish programs.

In the photograph, Mr. Alfredo Gordo, president of the Board of Directors of SAES, and Mr. Alexis Morel, member of the Board of Directors of SAES and Vice-president – General manager of Underwater Systems business line, sign the contract on December 11th.

SAES at the bilateral meeting of Spanish companies in Latvia

With the attendance of the Secretary of State for Defense, the Spanish ambassador to Latvia and the OFICAEX´chief, as well as the NAD (National Acquisitions Directorate) and members of the Ministry of Defense of Latvia.

SAES has been one of the Spanish companies that has participated in the bilateral meeting held in Latvia, together with Navantia, Instalaza, URO, ARPA, GHAN, GDELS, INDRA, ALTUS.

SAES at the bilateral meeting of Spanish companies in Latvia
SAES at the bilateral meeting of Spanish companies in Latvia

OFICAEX, the Office of Foreign Support of the Ministry of Defense, has organized these bilateral meetings in order to show the capabilities of the Spanish defense industry to the Latvian Defense Department as well as to facilitate collaboration with local companies.

Part of the bilateral meeting took place at the NATO base in Riga (Adazi Base), where all the companies showed their capabilities.

SAES highlighted the fact that it is a reference company in Underwater Defence, that has participating in the most important naval programs in Spain such as the S-80 and the F-110.

During the tour of our product portfolio, special emphasis was placed on our capabilities in mine warfare and the outstanding international position of SAES in this discipline.

SAES at the bilateral meeting of Spanish companies in Latvia
The NAD (National Acquisitions Directorate) visited the “stand” of SAES

After the presentations, the NAD (National Acquisitions Directorate), visited the SAES’ stand where capabilities in underwater defense and naval mines were discussed in depth.

SAES participates in the Conference on the KETMaritime project

The company shows its developments on electronics and underwater acoustics.


The Conference Enabling Technologies: engine of innovation in the maritime sector, related to the INTERREG KETMaritime project and organized by the IDONIAL Technology Center, is held today in Gijón.

Antonio Sánchez, Head of R + D + i in SAES, gives a speech entitled “Acoustic, electrical and multi-influence underwater sensors. Applications in Security and Environment”. The lecture is focused on the main characteristics of the energy radiations which propagate in the underwater environment and the sensors that SAES has developed for their measurement and analysis as well as how they can be applied in the fields of defense and security.

SAES en KETMaritime
The Diver Detection Sonar DDS-03 allows underwater surveillance on anchored ships.

The IDONIAL Technology Center of Asturias is developing, together with other European partners, the KETMaritime project (Nov 2017-Jun 2020), whose main objective is to bring the potential of essential facilitating technologies (KETs) as a tool to the business community of innovation and progress in the sectors that operate in the marine field.

The KETMaritime project is supported by INTERREG ATLANTIC AREA program, and led by the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory INL (Portugal).  AIMEN, Forum Ocean, CIMAP and Marine South East are the other entities participate in the consortium.

SAES participates in the Annual Conference about P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The company will offer a speech about the rigorous requirements needed to achieve success in ASW missions.

The 31st Annual P-3 International Operators Support Conference (IOSC) will take place October 14-16 in Atlanta, Georgia where SAES exhibits at booth #40 besides offering a talk about MPA ASW missions. It will be on the last day at 2:00 pm by Ignacio Gutiérrez, Line Manager of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).

misions MPA ASW

IGnacio Gutierrez, the manager of ASW Line of Business in SAES, is testing the SPAS system in a MPA P-3 Orion.

The speech is entitled “Hardcore requirement for MPA ASW Missions: The Mission Support Center” and addresses the effectiveness of a combined planning and mission optimization process of the ASW mission to achieve its main objective: to detect and localize submarine threat. Mission planning and optimization is made by analyzing submarine threats identified and classified as part of an Acoustic Intelligence Database (ACINT).

On the other hand, Improving mission planning through would lead to military benefits; military commanders will be provided with enhanced likelihood of achieving mission objectives through appropriate deployment of sensors and processing capabilities based on predicted sensor effectiveness, operators will benefit from more efficient detection, classification, identification of targets, and collateral damage will be reduced through fewer misidentifications of targets.

Your Mission is Ours

The 31st Annual P-3 International Operators Support Conference (IOSC), organized by Lockheed Martin, is held in conjunction with the Hercules C-130 Operators Conference (HOC) at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, of October 14-17, 2019, under the same joint theme: “Your mission is ours.”

This event offers access to over 80 industry exhibitors, briefings on the C-130B-J, L-100 and LM-100J model aircraft, social events, and networking opportunities to share operational, technical, modification and maintenance insights among Hercules and Orion owners/operators, service centers and suppliers.      

SAES shows MILA Naval Limpet Mine at the Global SOF Symposium

The “Global Special Operations Forces (SOF) Foundation holds its fourth European Symposium in Brussels, from October 1 to 3. SAES participates as a reference company in naval mines for special operations forces and shows a mock-up of a MILA unit.


MILA is an underwater demolition charge for Special Operation Forces that incorporates a computer-controlled detonation system. It is used by combat divers in covert underwater operations to neutralize threats. It is a safe, efficient, and lightweight device, easy to transport, deploy and install. One only diver can transport and fix two MILA units. In addition, the device can be quickly installed and reprogrammed in underwater, even in adverse scenarios such as low visibility or in darkness. It is designed for fixing underwater to different types of surfaces, makes it a very versatile tool for high demand operations.

Representatives from Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Malta, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States have attended. It is remarkable the presence of the Head of Belgian Defense, the President for the EU Military Committee and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO for emerging security challenges. A variety of topics such as “Military reform and capabilities packages for modern warfare” and “The role of artificial intelligence in SOF” has been discussed during the conferences.

DefenSe attachés from 22 countries visit SAES

During the visit to the facilities in Cartagena, real-size scale models of the DDS-03 diver detection sonar, the MINEA training naval mines and the MILA special operations

A group of 33 Defense Attachés from 22 countries, accompanied by the Spanish Navy and the Ministry of Defense of Spain, had visited the SAES facilities in Cartagena. The countries represented have been Germany, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Uruguay and USA.

The objective of the visit is to publicize the capabilities of the company, like reference in acoustics and underwater defense systems in Spain, and participant of the major naval programs developed in the country, such as submarines S-70, S-80 and the minehunter of the Segura class, among others…

During the meeting, scale models of the DDS-03 diver detection sonar, the MILA special operations naval mine and the MINEA multi-influence naval mines were shown.

In addition, it have been presentations of acoustic sonobuoy processors, candidates to be integrated into the combat system of the F-110, and of the portable system of multi-influence MIRS signature measurements.

On the visit, the Defence Attachés have been especially interested in systems based on multi-influence measurement technology: MINEA mines and MIRS system. Both are capable of detecting the acoustic, electrical, magnetic, seismic and pressure influences of the ship. In the case of mines, in order to detect the signature of the vessel that has been previously programmed and in the case of the signature measurement system, to characterize the ship’s multi-influence signature.

SAES celebrates its 30th anniversary in FEINDEF

SAES showed real-size mock-ups of DDS-03 diver detection sonar, MINEA training naval mine and a real unit of MIRS multi-influence signature measurement systems.


SAES, specialized in acoustics and underwater electronic, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, coinciding with the first edition of the FEINDEF International Security and Defense Exhibition. SAES is the main reference in Spain for sonar technology and submarine and antisubmarine warfare systems. The company has participated in most of the major Spanish naval programs, such as the S-70 and S-80 submarines and the Segura Class minehunters.

Some of the sonar products include a towed array sonar with automatic deployment and recovery, diver detection sonar and acoustic classification systems. In addition to sonars, the company develops systems for the measurement of underwater ship signatures and manufactures naval training mines recognized internationally.

The company also has anti-submarine warfare technology for MPA aircraft, frigates and ASW helicopters. These systems are on board various platforms in Europe and Latin America, as well as in Spain, where the company has collaborated in the modernization of P3-M aircraft and A-109 / HKP15 helicopters.

ASW systems are an essential element aboard frigates with anti-submarine capabilities such as the F-110 project. The submarines, thanks to the technology developments are highly stealthy.  Therefore it is necessary having advanced systems for processing and analysis in order to detect the underwater threats. SAES has experience and knowledge in anti-submarine warfare and has developed complex detection algorithms, included in the acoustic processors of sonobuoys such as SPAS. The SPAS system incorporates automatic contacts detection and advanced processing techniques for high detection and tracking of targets. The system also allows the classification and automatic location of threats.

These facts make SAES a strong ally to participate in the F-110 frigate program.

Intelligent naval mines are another strategic element in naval warfare. Nowadays, the smart naval mines has high technology for the precise detection of targets and can be programmed to act according to the multi-influence signature of the detected vessel. For this reason, the training of the crew is crucial as a way of knowing the vulnerability of the ship itself and thus protecting the fleet. As a result, the MINEA training naval mines developed by SAES are a useful tool for minehunter ship crew, both to gain knowledge about multi-influence signatures and to program a mine against a potential threat.

In reference to the measurement of signatures, the MIRS system allows to obtain simultaneously the acoustic, electrical, magnetic, and seismic and pressure signatures of a ship. It should be noted that it is a portable system that can be deployed at sea from a pneumatic boat. This characteristic differentiates it from fixed stations, whose main limitation is the need to move ships to them. The MIRS system allows greater flexibility and frequency for the measurement of signatures, being able to be used for multiple purposes, such as obtaining the signature in a real scenario or as a discrete form of obtaining intelligence in strategic areas.

SAES showed on FEINDEF (stand C-08) real-size models of several of the previously mentioned systems: MIRS multi-influence signature measurement system, DDS-03 diver detection and MINEA multi-influence naval mines.

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