Spain Ordering 5 Frigates for Over EUR 1.1 Bn
Defense-Aerospace translates a Spanish Ministry of Defence release noting that have launched the contractual process for the procurement of Spain’s fifth F100 Alvaro de Bazan Class AEGIS frigate, and of four new light Buques de Accion Maritima (BAM) project frigates whose total cost is estimated at EUR 1.1 billion ($1.4 billion at current conversion).
The BAM program is intended to replace Spain’s light patrol vessels, which have limited use outside the inshore littoral zone and are nearing the end of their operational life. The roles that are planned for the new BAM ships reportedly include naval presence and control, minor protection roles for merchant shipping and small naval units (which seems to imply a potential anti-piracy role), special forces pick-up and delivery, fisheries and environmental roles, surveillance, and search-and-rescue. The translated release notes that:
“The BAM ships will be 94 meters long, displace about 2,500 tonnes, have a helicopter landing pad, and will be capable of attaining a maximum speed of 20 knots. Crewed by 40 officers and ratings, they will have a range of 8,000 nautical miles and will carry enough supplies for missions of up to 40 days at sea.”
Different variants will be available, from ocean patrol to hydrographic surveying. More information can be found in the BAM profile on the Navy’s (Spanish language) web site.
The government’s investment is intended to support Spanish industry, requiring a total of 6.83 million man-hours of work and supporting 500 jobs at Navantia’s Ferreol shipyard and another 400 at its Cadiz shipyard over the next five years. Navantia’s shipyards at Ferrol, Cartagena and Cadiz are also building a “Strategic Projection Ship” (LHD), a logistic supply ship, and four S-80 Scorpene submarines.
The DCN/Navantia Scorpenes were chosen by India in a recent $3.5 billion deal, the Strategic Projection ship is the favourite to become the base of Australia’s upcoming A$ 2 billion Large Amphibious Ships program, and the F100 frigate is an underdog against the American DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyer to become the baseline for Australia’s A$4.5 billion Air Warfare Destroyer program.
- UPI (March 23/11) – Spanish navy receives new vessel. The 4th P-44 BAM ship, Tornado.
- Brahmand (Oct 8/10) – Spanish Navy launches 3rd maritime action ship ‘Lightening’