SWAT-SHOAL: 1st General Assembly Meeting

Six months after the kick-off meeting of the SWArm and Teaming operation of manned & unmanned underwater vehicle SHOAL (SWAT-SHOAL) project, funded by the European Commission under the European Defence Fund (EDF2022) and coordinated by Navantia, the first General Assembly meeting brought the members of the consortium together at the Navantia Training Centre (NTC), in Cadiz, Spain. 

Hosted by Navantia, the first SWAT-SHOAL General Assembly meeting gathered the 20 partners of the project: Navantia (Spain, project coordinator); Naval Group Belgium, SEA Europe (Belgium); Cafa Tech (Estonia), Naval Group (France); Atlas Elektronik, Develogic, Fraunhofer, WTD71 (Germany); Prisma Electronics, SOTIRIA (Greece); Fincantieri NexTech (Italy); Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Norway); Akademia Marynarki Wojennej, PIAP (Poland); Adyta (Portugal); GMV, Sener, SAES (Spain); and Saab Kockums (Sweden).

General Assemblies, especially the first one, are key milestone for the project. It allows the partners to meet each other every six months, update the consortium on the current progress, align the different workpackages, address difficulties, and agree on actions to undertake for the following months. In addition to the workshops, Navantia organized a visit to the NTC and its simulator classrooms (including the Navantis Avatar Immersion Room). At the NTC, Navantia provides training programs for ship crews, training and coaching for Navantia personnel, and hosts various events and exhibitions.

“I am proud to say that our collaboration is solid and allows us to work efficiently as a European team. This first General Assembly showed our strong motivation and dedication to achieving the expectations set by the European Commission, and the Ministries of Defence, who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the results of our research.” – said Victor Moreno Ortiz, SWAT-SHOAL Project Coordinator.

SWAT-SHOAL is a 36-month research project, which aims to develop a concept of a systems-of- systems based on swarming technologies to integrate manned and unmanned naval assets, collaborating effectively as a team to achieve greater performance and efficiency in a broad spectrum of underwater missions against moving subsurface threats. The system will enable different vehicle types, working in a team as a single unit, can face more complex scenarios, or that they are organized as a squad assigning a defined task to each platform. 

SWAT-SHOAL - 1st GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING

SAES and Airbus Defence and Space strengthen submarine defence with the implementation of acoustic systems in C295 maritime patrol aircraft

SAES, a leading technology company in submarine defence and protection, and Airbus Defence and Space, a driving company in the aerospace sector in Spain, have signed an agreement for the purchase and implementation of SAES sonobuoy acoustic systems in the C295 maritime patrol aircraft, recently acquired by the Spanish Ministry of Defence from Airbus Defence and Space. This agreement reinforces the commitment of both companies to innovation and submarine defence.

SAES and Airbus Defence and Space have sealed an agreement for the development and supply of Sonobuoy Acoustic Processing Systems (SPAS), designed and manufactured by SAES, in the C295 maritime patrol aircraft of Airbus, which the Spanish State has recently acquired. This agreement reaffirms the constant commitment of both companies to enhance and update Spanish anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. 

The SPAS system supplied by SAES will be integrated with the Tactical Mission System (FITS) of Airbus Defence and Space. This contract also includes ground support, through the acoustic analysis and mission support system (FTAS – Fast Time Analyser System) and the acoustic training system (TAT – Tactical Acoustic Training). 

Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions are complex to operate, requiring the participation and coordination of surface and air platforms, such as the C295, which enhance the probability of success thanks to their ability to cover wide areas of operation.

The C295 aircraft, in Maritime Patrol or MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) configuration, deploys different types of sonobuoys (deployable acoustic sensors) that will be processed by the SPAS system, which includes the processing capability of the most advanced sonobuoys on the market. 

The collaboration between Airbus and SAES dates back to 2001, when SAES participated in the modernisation programme of the P-3 Orion aircraft of the Air and Space Army. Since then, the alliance between both companies has not only prospered, but has continued successfully through the programmes implemented in the C295s of Chile and the P-3 Orions of Brazil. 

The General Director of SAES, César Solano, highlights that “the integration of the SPAS system on board the C295 maritime patrol aircraft represents a significant milestone for us. This system enhances the aircraft’s capabilities, enabling anti-submarine warfare operations. It’s not just about equipping the aircraft with cutting-edge technology: it’s about providing our operators with the tools they need to ensure security”. 

As an integral part of the development of these systems, SAES includes the collaboration of Spanish companies. This cooperation “not only promotes technological advancement, but also contributes to the creation of qualified employment”, indicates Solano.

Sara García Alonso: “the world cannot afford to lose 50% of talent”

The WomIn‘ forum manages to bring together, in its first edition, great references in engineering to promote the role of women in the sector. It was held today at the facilities of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, with the attendance of more than half a thousand students – schoolgirls and university students. Sara García Alonso, the first Spanish woman Reserve Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), recommends future engineers to have courage to innovate and infinite curiosity.

Sara García Alonso, the first Spanish woman Reserve Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), recommends future engineers to have courage to innovate and infinite curiosity. The molecular biologist has participated in ‘WomIn’, the meeting to awaken STEM vocations that is held at the UPCT, and which has the attendance of more than half a thousand students. Before this large group of students, Sara García, has remembered her early years of studies, “my vocation began in a playful way, my parents encouraged me to investigate, to see things through a microscope and to ask myself many questions. We have to apply technology to almost all sectors, so that society improves, so I ask you not to limit your curiosity”. 

She concluded that Science is passion and that she has been selected among 23,000 candidates, through a process of 18 months, “with exams of all kinds, astronauts are dedicated to research from space, so it is always too early to give up, dare to pursue your dreams”. She also explained how most of the technology has been developed by men and for men, a trend that is slowly changing, because “the world cannot afford to lose 50% of talent”.  

The meeting has had the testimonies of Beatriz Miguel, first rector of a polytechnic university in Spain; Anabel Díaz, general manager of Uber for Europe, Middle East and Africa; Consuelo Lázaro, director of Operations SAES; Noelia Ortega, director of the Naval and Sea Technology Centre and Cristina Abad, director of Navantia Systems, have made Cartagena today the epicentre of engineering in our country.

They and the more than half a thousand students, who have attended “WomIn, the Women’s Forum in Engineering 2024”, have made the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) vibrate. 

This innovative day started today in the Isaac Peral Room of the CIM Building with a full house and eyes set on the stars. It could not be otherwise since it brought together two unstoppable forces: that of vocation and that of experience.  

At the meeting, Anabel Díaz Calderón, CEO UBER explained that “engineers design the products of the future and women must participate and contribute to the solutions and sustainability of tomorrow”. 

For her part, Consuelo Lázaro, Chief Operating Officer at SAES, appealed to social responsibility stating that “there is no need to wait for us to be dictated rules to demand equality, in society and the workplace”.   

Throughout the morning, the masterful interventions of these women engineers who are a reference at national and international level, have sought a triple common objective: to value the role of women in engineering, promoting the access of young women to STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), to make visible the importance of female talent in industry and social development and to awaken professional vocations among the youngest students. 

For her part, Cristina Abad, director of Navantia Systems, highlighted that “we have to make engineering attractive for young women” and Noelia Ortega, from the Naval and Sea Technology Centre, explained that “being a woman is a value that contributes a lot to society, also in engineering”.

Along with them, we have three other women who well represent professionalism and female talent in the Region, Noelia Arroyo, mayor of Cartagena; Azucena Marín, CEO of Comunicología, and Eva Franco, director of Communication, Sustainability and Social Action at Hidrogea, moderator of one of the experience tables. 

The initiative of the UPCT has had the collaboration of companies such as SAES, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary, and Hidrogea, as well as the Naval and Sea Technology Centre. 

SAES appoints José Javier Mármol Peñalver as new company President

The Board of Directors of SAES, SME, has approved this Friday the appointment of José Javier Mármol Peñalver as the new President of the company.

The Board of Directors of SAES, SME, has approved this Friday the appointment of José Javier Mármol Peñalver as the new president of the company. A graduate in Economic Sciences from the University of Murcia, José Javier Mármol Peñalver (Murcia, 1972) has developed his professional career in both the private and public sectors.

José Javier Mármol Peñalver has held various responsibilities in the Murcia City Council. He was a deputy in the Cortes in the IX Legislature, where he was vice-spokesperson for the Socialist Group in the Economy and Finance Commission. In addition, he has been a councillor of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Urbanizing Company URBAMUSA (2004-2007).

José Javier Mármol Peñalver takes over from Joaquín López Pagán, president of SAES, SME since October 2020, who has led the approval of the II Collective Agreement of SAES and the change in the strategic positioning of the company, reflected in the Strategic Plan 2024-28.

.

Spain’s first female astronaut lands in Cartagena to inspire professional vocations

Sara García Alonso participates on Monday 8th April in Cartagena, alongside other leading national engineers, in ‘WomIn, the Women’s Forum in Engineering 2024′.

The first edition could not start with more strength. “WomIn, the Women’s Forum in Engineering 2024″, which will be held in Cartagena on April 8 with the firm purpose of inspiring professional vocations among the youngest students, will feature engineers of recognised prestige at national and international level.

Within the framework of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT), the meeting is born with the aim of valuing the role of women in engineering, promoting the access of young women to STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and highlighting the importance of female talent in industry and social development. 

Alongside Sara García Alonso, the first Spanish female Reserve Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA), the students will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of female role models such as Beatriz Miguel, the first female rector of a polytechnic university in Spain, the one in Cartagena; Anabel Díaz, General Manager of Uber for Europe, Middle East and Africa; Consuelo Lázaro, SAES Director of Operations; Noelia Ortega, Director of the Naval and Sea Technology Centre; and Cristina Abad, Director of Navantia Systems.

The event, which will take place in the Isaac Peral Room of the CIM building from 10 am with the sea as a backdrop, will allow free entry for school and university students until full capacity is reached.

This is an initiative of the UPCT in collaboration with the companies SAES, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary, and Hidrogea, as well as the Naval and Sea Technology Centre.

The event will be hosted by journalist Azucena Marín and will feature Eva Franco, Director of Communication, Sustainability and Social Action at Hidrogea, to moderate one of the round tables. In addition, the audience will be able to ask questions and interact with each of the participants 

Great role models for the younger generations 

It was in 1929 when a woman received the title of industrial engineer for the first time in Spain. Today, 58 percent of people graduating from Spanish universities are women. But only 29 percent of young people enrolled in engineering degrees are women.

“WomIn, the Women’s Forum in Engineering 2024”, which is born with the vocation to become a national benchmark, aspires to increase these figures in the future to match those of other university disciplines.

It will do so with the help of Sara García, Beatriz Miguel, Anabel Díaz, Consuelo Lázaro, Noelia Ortega, Cristina Abad, as well as Eva Franco and Azucena Marín. Women, all of them, who have broken into predominantly male sectors becoming, without a doubt, great examples to be followed by the younger generations.

SAES begins the celebration of its 35th anniversary with the exhibition ‘Women in Engineering’

The public company SAES, SME commemorates its 35th anniversary this year with a series of events that aim to highlight the strategic contribution of the company over more than three decades. The first of these events has been held in commemoration of The International Women’s Day (8th March), with an exhibition in the Heroes of Cavite square in Cartagena. SAES shows its commitment to gender equality and recognises the achievements of illustrious women in the world of engineering who contribute to inspire future scientific vocations.   

The exhibition can be visited at the port this weekend and will then move to the facilities of the UPCT until the month of April. 

SAES has today kicked off the celebrations for its 35th anniversary with the exhibition “Women in Engineering”. The event took place today at 12:30 pm in the Heroes of Cavite square, in Cartagena (Spain). The exhibition, which showcases the legacy of ten women who have marked the history of engineering, was presented by the President and CEO of SAES, Joaquín López Pagán. “It is a pride for us to commemorate our anniversary by highlighting the fundamental role of women in engineering. We want to motivate future generations and help increase female presence in this sector,” said López Pagán during the presentation.

The event was attended by several authorities, including Mariola Guevara, Government Delegate of Spain in the Region of Murcia, and Rosa Badillo Amador, Secretary General of the UPCT, as well as members of the SAES Management Committee, like Sara García Ruiz (Telecommunications Engineer), Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation, and Esther Corbalán (Mathematician) Head of People Development.

Other authorities present: Caridad Rives Arcayna, national deputy and deputy spokesperson of the Socialist Group in the Defense Committee of Congress; Carmina Fernández, regional deputy of the Socialist Group; Pedro Contreras Fernández, councilor and spokesperson for the PSOE Cartagena; Isabel María Andreu, councilor of the Cartagena City Council; and Manuel Torres, general secretary and spokesperson for the PSOE Cartagena.

The exhibition “Women in Engineering” is a further demonstration of SAES’s commitment to gender equality, the promotion of scientific vocation and innovation, and marks the beginning of a year of celebrations for the company’s 35th anniversary.

SAES continues to work on high-level technological development and solutions in more than 20 countries and participates in major strategic projects for national defence led by Navantia, such as the S80 class submarines and the F110 frigates.

SAES successfully hosts a real-time connection initiative with Antarctica for children from the TALENTOS association

The TALENTOS association, which brings together parents with children diagnosed with high intellectual abilities, has joined the 37th Antarctic Campaign on Deception Island along with several educational centres and participated in a video call with the scientific base at the SAES facilities. This collaboration is a unique opportunity to foster scientific vocation among the youngest and bring them closer to the research carried out in one of the most remote places on the planet.

Today, Monday 4th of March, SAES has hosted a real-time connection initiative with Antarctica for a group of 30 children from the ‘TALENTOS High Intellectual Abilities Region of Murcia‘ association: a collective of parents with children diagnosed with high intellectual abilities. The video conference connection with the civilian and military personnel stationed at the Spanish Antarctic Base “Gabriel de Castilla” has allowed the children to learn first-hand about the scientific activity taking place in the XXXVII Antarctic Campaign on Deception Island.

During the connection, which began at 10 o’clock sharp in the morning and lasted approximately two hours, the children were able to ask questions to the scientists and learn more about their daily life and their activity in Antarctica.

The scientists told the children present, from various educational centres and associations, among other things, about the long journey with the Hespérides ship [built for multidisciplinary scientific research in any sea or ocean, including Arctic and Antarctic Areas] or how they prepare for a year before starting the mission (in the months of the Antarctic summer). In addition, the base personnel talked about their daily life, the importance of waste management to leave no trace of their passage, and interesting details of small daily missions or even the lack of trees and plants there. In this task, they have the logistical support of the Army, which also protects and preserves the area. Among the local fauna, they highlighted the sea lions, the crab seal, Weddell seal, the elephant seal and a wide variety of birds. Although, according to their words, “the chinstrap penguins are the kings of Deception Island.”

The scientists of this year’s campaign arrived at the base on December 31, 2023, and return in March: the arrival of the Hespérides ship in Cartagena (Spain) is expected for the month of April.

The possibility of sponsoring a penguin from Deception Island was also mentioned, an initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Defence that seeks to promote environmental care.  

For Esther Corbalán, Head of People Development at SAES, “this event has been a unique opportunity to foster scientific vocation among the youngest and bring them closer to the research carried out in one of the most remote places on the planet”. In addition, this initiative “is aligned with the promotion of STEM vocations (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in children from an early age in which SAES has been committed for years”

In addition to the children from the TALENTOS association, a dozen Primary and Secondary students whose parents are part of the SAES staff, a company specialised in underwater technology that innovates for a safer world, have joined this activity.

SAES’s underwater technology leads the naval and defence industry

SAES is celebrating a 2023 full of successes, with a constantly growing order book and a renewed brand image. Our General Manager, César Solano Márquez, shared these achievements and future goals in a recent interview with Cadena SER radio. “We have closed significant agreements and we also remain committed to innovation, with 11 R&D+i European projects underway”, highlights César Solano.

 

César Solano,,director General de SAES

Looking ahead to 2024, César Solano points out that “our goal is to continue our growth trajectory and strengthen our alliances with local companies and shareholders. This year is also our 35th anniversary, it’s another opportunity to give more visibility to SAES. In addition, we hope to continue creating jobs in the coming years through our European defence and innovation projects.”

 

Listen to the full interview here (audio in Spanish):

 

Several SAES officials have participated in the radio program “Hoy por hoy Cartagena” to showcase their capabilities in underwater security and protection, both in the civil and defense sectors. Consuelo Lázaro Ruiz, Chief Operating Officer, has explained the management of a project like the S80 submarine, as well as sonar technology and signature management. Sara García Ruiz, Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation at SAES, responds to the importance of innovation in a technological company like SAES, and how it has been used in the recently delivered submarine to the Navy. Ernesto Eulogio, head of the Engineering Services Line Manager at SAES, talks about the SIMTAC, the tactical simulator of the S81 submarine ‘Isaac Peral’, and what it is used for.

SIMTAC: the innovative tactical simulator for training crews of the new S-80 submarines

The S-80 class submarines have a tactical training simulator, known as SIMTAC, which the Spanish Navy uses to prepare submarine crews for various situations they may encounter at sea. Ernesto Eulogio, Engineering Services Line Manager at SAES, explains in a recent interview on Cadena SER radio all the details about this high-tech training tool, which allows crews to practice and perfect their skills in a safe and controlled environment.

For Ernesto Eulogio, “the simulator of the S-81 submarine is like a driving school for the crew, where they learn to use the submarine’s acoustic systems, sonars and radars. In addition, it allows to simulate extreme situations that cannot be reproduced in the real submarine without danger to the crew, such as evading torpedoes or navigating with breakdowns on board”.

The simulator has been developed by SAES in collaboration with Navantia and Indra, and will be used for both the S-81 submarine and future submarines of the S-80 series. Ernesto Eulogio comments that “the idea is that all submarines are operated in the same way, so that personnel can move from one submarine to another without problems”. The simulator will be updated to be in tune with the submarines and meet the training requirements of the Spanish Navy.

SAES’s involvement with Navy simulators began with the development of the SAT simulator for S70 submarines, which has been operational for almost 30 years. In addition, SAES also participated in the SACAZ simulator for the Segura class minehunters.

Listen to the full interview here (audio in Spanish):

The use of technology and innovation in SAES to solve complex problems

SAES, with its capabilities in hydroacoustics and underwater technology, has played a key role in the development of the S-81 submarine, Isaac Peral, which was recently delivered by Navantia to the Spanish Navy. Sara Garcia, our Head of Digital Transformation and Innovation, has been recently interviewed on Cadena SER radio. She mentions SAES’s involvement in the development of sonar systems and technology for the S-81 submarine, focused on acoustic detection and the submarine’s discretion.

Sara Garcia highlights in the interview the importance of innovation in a technology company like SAES and mentions examples of using technology to solve complex problems, such as the development of a diver detection sonar to protect ports and ships from terrorist threats. She also talks about the R&D+i projects in which SAES participates, such as underwater drones and the application of unmanned vehicles in offshore wind farms, as well as the ETC program for the development of European corvettes. In addition, concludes Sara, “SAES collaborates with universities, companies and technology centres to keep up to date with the latest innovations.”

You can listen to the complete interview here (audio in Spanish):