The case of the sinking sub

You think we have problems?

The Spanish Navy ordered four S-80 diesel electric attack submarines in 2003, to replace the aging, Cold War-era Agosta class. The new, fully modern submarines were designed with air independent propulsion, allowing them to stay underwater longer than other diesel electric submarines. The S-80s are armed with six 533-millimeter torpedo tubes capable of launching German DM2A4 Seahake guided torpedoes, American Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles.

The S-80 was saddled with problems from the start. Spain’s economy took a severe downturn during the late 2000s, and the country’s defense budget was put under strain. In 2013, ten years after the first boat was ordered, authorities detected a critical flaw in the design: The submarines were 75 to 100 tons heavier than anticipated.

The submarines could dive but there was some question as to whether they could reliably surface again. According to the BBC quoting the Associated Press, the problem was the result of someone involved in the design process placing a decimal point in the wrong place. The problem was not discovered until the ships were under construction.

6 comments for “The case of the sinking sub

  1. dearieme
    July 22, 2018 at 17:39

    But they don’t sink now. The new prob is that they don’t fit in their port.

    Still, less lousy than an F-35.

  2. dearieme
    July 22, 2018 at 20:15

    By the way, is the story any worse than the story of our buying two useless bloody aircraft carriers for the profound reason that much of the work could be done in Brown’s constituency?

    Do you think the Haughty Dons could be persuaded to swap the subs for the carriers?

    • Bill
      July 22, 2018 at 21:45

      F35 and the carriers winning combination some say others tell the truth.

  3. Doonhamer
    July 24, 2018 at 09:29

    Old enough to remember slide-rules.
    You had to do a rough sum mentally in order to check the answer and put the decimal point in the correct place.
    Users of calculators (and subsequently computers) just trust the given result and do not do a reality check.
    Thus Hubbles, botched Mars landings and collapsing bridges.

    • July 24, 2018 at 10:57

      Never got the hang of slide rules. They were explained but I could never work them.

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