Babcock has successfully delivered the weapon handling equipment (WHE), a key component for Weapons Handling and Launch System (WHLS), in support of the Spanish Navy’s new S-80 class diesel/air-independent propulsion electric hybrid submarine programme.

The Navy’s first of four planned S-80 submarines, Isaac Peral (S81) is currently undergoing construction at Navantia’s Cartagena shipyard.

The delivery follows a contract previously awarded to Babcock in 2006 to develop and deliver WHLS along with four sets of weapon handling and launch equipment and a set of weapon embarkation equipment for the Navy’s four S-80 submarines.

The first set of weapons handling equipment has undergone testing by Babcock in the UK, prior to its delivery to Navantia for the installation in Section 5 of the Isaac Peral.

Jim Sibson, Babcock’s programme manager, said that the firm’s extensive experience and expertise in weapon handling and launch systems has helped it in successfully addressing the design, development and manufacture of the system to meet the stringent safety, stability and shock requirements of the customer and provide a critical high level of reliability within a restricted space envelope.

The torpedoes, missiles and mines equipped onboard the S-80 submarine will be handled and launched by the WHLS, integrated with a modular system and semi-automated weapon handling and stowage system.

Equipped with three main assemblies, the WHE has been designed to embark and stow weapons safely at sea while protecting them in the event of a shock in addition to loading weapons into the torpedo tubes and disembarking weapons when needed.