Leaders in naval and aerospace technology

Spain is a global leader in high-tech industries such as shipbuilding or the development of air and space systems.

Spain is a leader in the design and manufacture of multifunction ships. Spanish shipyards build everything from sophisticated military vessels (aircraft carriers, frigates and submarines) to chemical and fuel tankers to floating regasification units for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to oceanographic research vessels. To these we should add passenger ships, fishing vessels, patrol boats and yachts.

What is more, Spanish shipyards get orders from foreign shipowners, mainly from Norway, Australia, Belize and Angola, drawn by the innovative technology used in the country: the floating regasification and storage units designed by SENER, the offshore LNG reception and regasification plant developed by Dragados Offshore in the Adriatic Sea, or the design and development of an LNG terminal by Acciona Infraestructure in the port area in Campamento, San Roque, to be installed in the Adriatic Sea. Together with the members of PYMAR (a corporation made by small and medium-sized shipbuilders in Spain) and the state-owned company Navantia–one of the world’s top five military vessel designers, present in more than 25 countries–, these firms are the pillars of the Spanish shipbuilding industry.

Aerospace systems

Likewise, Spain is a leader in the aerospace industry. It stands fifth in Europe in terms of turnover and employment, boasting a high level of investment. The Spanish space industry is also the fifth in Europe, giving jobs to almost 3,500 people. Moreover, Spain is the seventh top satellite manufacturer in the world; Spanish firms and scientific institution participating in spearhead projects such as the Rosetta mission and the exploration of Mars. In October 2017, the Andalusia-Granada Science Park was chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) to host the Spanish unit of ESERO, the European Space Education Resource Office. Thus, Spain became the 14th host country of ESA’s main educational programme.

Based on its professional qualifications and high competitiveness, the Spanish space industry launched the Mars Spanish Mission (MSM), a ground-breaking project aimed at turning Spain into a global leader in simulator and habitat science and technology for extreme environments.

Leading Spanish companies in the aerospace industry include SENER, GMV, Indra and Hispasat. SENER is the leading partner of PROBA-3, an ESA-managed space programme. GMV is the world’s top independent supplier of ground control systems for telecommunication satellites and the third company in Europe in terms of Galileo participation. Indra is the Spanish chief partner in Urban Heat Islands and Urban Thermography, an ESA-funded project. As to Hispasat, it is the fourth largest satellite communications company in Europe and the eighth worldwide.

In addition, Spain hosts facilities of leading international firms such as ITP or Aernnova, drawn by the top-level R&D centres catering to the demands of the aerospace industry, the high level of investment and the country’s prominent role in the sector.