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Spain - Submarines

Since its creation on February 7, 1915 (Miranda law), until now the Submarine Weapon has been formed by 43 units. The squadron law of 1908, driven by Maura and Ferrandiz, was the beginning of our naval reconstruction after the disasters of 1898, although it did not contemplate the construction of submarines, because those that existed in the important marinas were only of experimental type.

This first impulse had to be followed, in 1914 by a new program, with the construction of new battleships and destroyers, but the outbreak of the First World War stopped the new program. In order not to paralyze the 1908 project and the success of the German "U" submarines in the North Sea, the Minister of the Navy, Admiral Miranda, managed to approve the law that would later bear his name, on February 17 of 1915, which authorized the construction of 28 submarines, in addition to surface ships.

This law was the beginning of the Spanish Submarine Weapon, which also authorized the purchase of four submersibles abroad, having to build the other 24 in Spain and entrusting the creation of the new weapon to the Captain of Corvette Mr. Mateo Garca de los Reyes. The Spanish submarine weapon was born on February 17, 1915, with the Miranda law that is endorsed by King Alfonso XIII.

"In order to provide the nation with the necessary elements for the maintenance of its autonomy and the integrity of its territory, it is authorized to organize the service in the submarines, the acquisition of four submersibles and the necessary material for the teachings and practices of the personnel that has to endow them Alfonso XIII "

Chief of the Submarine Flotilla is named to the Captain of Corvette Mr. Mateo Garca of the kings, besides Commander of the first submarine type" Holland "bought to the United States and baptized as" Isaac Peral ", in memory of the famous inventor Cartagenero. The other three submarines, which were foreseen by the law, were bought in Italy and built in La Spezia, were of the "Laurenti" type and were baptized as "Narciso Monturiol A-1", "Cosme Garca A-2" and "A-3".

Parallel to the purchase of these four submersibles was built the Submarine Station and its school in Cartagena, taking advantage of the old building of the gauge room of the military arsenal and dating from 1755.

At the end of the First World War and given the successes obtained by Germany with this type of ship, the Spanish government commissioned the construction of six units of type "B" to the Spanish Society of Naval Construction in its factory in Cartagena. In 1920, the salvage ship "Kanguro", built in Holland, was received and the workshops for the accommodation and installations of the submarine base were launched.

In 1922, the first submarine built in Spain in the 20th century, the "B-1"; the rest, with intervals of one year, were integrated into the flotilla until the delivery of "B-6" in 1926. In May 1922 the Naval Stations of Mahn (Menorca) and La Graa (Ferrol) were activated to support submarines. During the Moroccan war, the submarines intervened, supplying provisions and evacuating civilian personnel from the Pen de Vlez de la Gomera, under enemy fire.

In 1927 it is ordered to build another new series of units, this time of type "C", based on the experience of type "B", with greater displacement and autonomy. Between July of 1927 and 1929 the six "C" entered into service, counting the flotilla of submarines in that year with sixteen units, a figure never reached later.

Between 1930 and 1931 the "Isaac Peral" and the three of the "A" type were discharged, and in 1932 the construction contract for six submarines of the "D" class was signed, a project by the Spanish engineer Mr. Aureo Fernndez vila.

The civil war paralyzed its construction when only the keel had been put to the submarines "D-1", "D-2" and "D-3". At the end of the contest, the Flotilla had suffered a severe setback in war actions, the "C-3", B-6 "and" B-3 "(1936) had been sunk," C-5 "(1937) and "C-6" (1937), leaving all "B" and "C" unused, except for "C-2" and "C-4", which were repaired and put into service. the national side bought Italy during the war, the "Torricelli" and the "Archimede", renamed with "General Mola" and "General Sanjurjo".

In August of 1939 an ambitious naval plan established the construction of fifty submarines !, but the outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent economic isolation made it impossible to fulfill said program, only the construction of the three "D" was continued ", ending" D-1 "in 1947," D-2 "in 1951 and" D-3 "in 1954.

The internment in Cartagena of a severely damaged German submarine, the "U-487", of the "VII C" type and its later assignment to the Spanish Navy in 1943 with the denomination of "G-7", made conceiving the construction of others six similar submarines ("G-1" to "G-6"), also aborted due to difficulties in the acquisition of material.

In the fifties, four assault submarines were built, two of the type "Foca", "Sa-41" and "Sa-42", based on German design with only two crewmen, and two "Tiburn", "Sa -51 "and" Sa-52 ", older with seven men to handle them.

On October 24, 1959 and under the mutual defense treaties, the United States Navy ceded to Spain the "USS Kraken", baptized as "Almirante Garca de los Reyes S-31" and which was a first step for the modernization of the weapon.

This submarine, of the class "Balao", had fought in the Second World War, being modernized before its delivery to Spain. It was the first Spanish submarine that had "snorkel" (device to charge batteries with diesel, sailing in immersion).

In 1968 and under the first naval program, the construction of the "Dolphin S-61", first of a series of four modern French patent submarines, of the "Daphne" class, begins.

As long as this series was built to alleviate the shortage of submarines (only "S-31" remained operational, all the others having been scrapped), the "USS Ronquil" was acquired in the United States between 1971 and 1974. "Isaac Peral S-32", "USS Picuda" "Narciso Monturiol S-33" "USS Bang" "Cosme Garcia S-34" and "USS Jallao" "S-35".

These four submarines were similar to the "S-31" originally and therefore built during the Second World War, although by the end of the 1950s they had undergone an extensive modernization under the GUPPY (Greater Underwater Propulsion Plant) program, providing them with new acoustic, electronic and weapons sensors.

Simultaneously with the delivery of these four submarines came into service, in 1973, the "Dolphin S-61" and the "Tonina S-62" and in 1975 the "Marsopa S-63" and the "Narval S-64".

Following with the French projects, the second naval program contemplated in 1974 the construction of two submarines of the class "Agosta", extending this number later to four. In 1983, the first two vessels of this series, the "Galerna S-71" and the "Siroco S-72", entered service. In 1985 the "Mistral S-73" and in 1986 the "Tramontana S-74", last of this class. Coinciding with the delivery in service of the "Agosta" were discharged all American submarines, being the last to disappear from the lists of the army the "S-35" in December 1984.

By resolution number 107/2003 of July 28 of the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, the "Hymn to the Submariner" is declared the official hymn of the Submarine Weapon.

Between the 23 of April of 2003 and the 30 of June of 2006 the submarines of the Series 60 were eliminated, Submarine Dolphin "S-61", Submarine Tonina "S-62", Submarine Marsopa "S-63" and Submarine Narval "S-64". On June 29, 2012 the Submarine of the 70 series Siroco (S-72) was decommissioned.

There was a promising future, materialized in the new submarines S-80, a technological bet of the Spanish industry, with intelligent security systems, weapons, sensors, satellite communication and an independent propulsion system of the atmosphere (AIP), which they will allow to meet the new challenges and missions assigned to him in the future, such as his integration with surface forces, air forces and special operations or the multiple tasks of intelligence and surveillance of conflict zones.

As the motto says, yesterday, today and tomorrow "AD UTRUMQUE PARATUS" (prepared for everything).

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Page last modified: 21-02-2019 18:44:23 ZULU