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Navantia cuts steel for new submarine rescue ship for Spanish Navy

The new BAM-IS is intended to replace the Spanish Navy's ageing salvage and rescue ship Neptuno (pictured). (Spanish Navy)

Navantia staged a steel-cutting ceremony for the Spanish Navy's new submarine rescue ship (Buque de Acción Marítima Intervención Subacuática: BAM-IS), to be named Poseidon , at its yard in Puerto Real on the south coast of the Bay of Cádiz on 3 July.

The new vessel is based on the Spanish Navy's Meteoro-class BAM offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) but adapted for underwater rescue operations.

It is intended to replace the Spanish Navy's rescue vessel Neptuno , which was built in the 1970s and is fast approaching the end of its service life.

After receiving government approval to go ahead with the EUR200 million (USD219.4 million) project in July 2020, Navantia awarded a contract to Ghenova in November 2021 for the engineering development of the BAM-IS, and the initial design was subsequently assessed and approved by JFD to ensure that it would be able to conduct rescue missions.

Ship specifications include an overall length of 91 m and a displacement of around 5,000 tonnes. The vessel will be able to accommodate a crew complement of 52, with space for an additional 12 personnel.

According to Navantia, the BAM-IS vessel features an innovative electric propulsion system based on direct current technologies, energy storage systems, and cycloidal thrusters, which will enable it to maintain highly accurate dynamic positioning even in adverse weather conditions. The ship will be able to travel at speeds of up to 15 kt.

Equipment on board will include a side-scan sonar, two hyperbaric chambers, two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), two underwater communication systems, emergency supply systems, and a helipad.

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