In the 1990s Spain decided to forego the advantages of working on submarines with France's DCNI and attempted to go it alone with the S-80 submarine project. This appears to not have worked out too well. In 2013 Spain announced serious project management errors leading to the S-80 unbuoyant and overweight. One reason appears to be integration mistakes which made the combined, hull and combat system overweight. Years of extra development (and billions overbudget) have followed.
Foregoing developments with DCNI might be partly explained by increasing Spanish closeness with Germany's TKMS particularly in attempting to develop advanced methanol reformer fuel cell (FC)/AIP.
Details are inexact. But it seems TKMS with Siemens has been working on reformer FC/AIP since 1995. Here is a 2010 German conference paper reflecting how far Germany has gotten in work for reformer FC/AIP.
Spain's SENER company may have began to work on this technology with TKMS in 2001 (and perhaps earlier).
Again Spain has fared badly. An intended delivery date of the first of class S-80 Isaac Peral was expected to be in 2021. But IHS Janes reported in January 2017 that the AIP system would not be ready in time for the delivery of the first of class submarine.
MTU diesels for submarine, especially the Series 396s, have been widely used.
This includes for:
- All of the TKMS built subs (Types 206, 209, Ulas, 2012, 2014 and Dolphins)
- KockumsGotlands, and
A Rolls-Royce / China Yuachi factory in Yulin China will begin operating this year to produce up to 1,500 MTU 4000s annually - probably many for marine applications. Maybe many for the newest Chinese SSKs?
MHalblaub and Pete