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Cantabria Combat Replenishment Ship
Buque de Aprovisionamiento en Combate (BAC)

The Operational Logistic Support is an important requirement of the Spanish Navy, as is the basis of the power projection capability which permits sustained operations in far away scenarios. To a great extent, it provides one of the intrinsic characteristics of a naval force; namely logistic self-sufficiency. The ship capable of providing operational logistical support ships and also participate in ecological and humanitarian operations.

CANTABRIA's mission is to supply operational logistic support to a Naval or Expeditionary Force including a Transport or Landing Force. The ship can also provide logistic support in other theatres such as humanitarian aid and environmental protection. To provide logistic support at sea the ship has five replenishment stations, two in each side and one aft for solid and liquid cargo. There is a flight deck and a hangar for medium and heavy helicopters

With a dead weight of 9,800 tons, the Combat Replenishment Ship "Cantabria" is a 174 m long ship displacing 19,600 tons, which makes it the second largest of the Navy ship after the LHD Juan Carlos I. The ship can maintain a speed of 20 knots (maximum speed exceeding 21 knots) and its autonomy to 13 knots (speed economic) will be of 6,000 miles. It has a flight deck, with hangar, from which may operate helicopters.

Her five replenishment stations (one aft) can supply 8,000 cubic meters of fuel to ships and 1,500 cubic meters of fuel to aircraft, as well as ammunition, repair parts and food to a force in the sea. The "Cantabria" can replenish three ships simultaneously. The ship has a flight deck with hangar for medium and heavy helicopters and a ten bed hospital with an operating theatre equipped with videoconference for telemedicine; X-ray room; dental service; sterile lab; consulting room and a gas center. The ship has also been designed for environmental defence operations and is adequately equipped to face risk situations such as ship accidents.

The new ship was very similar to the existing PATIO, but it was equipped with double hull to fulfill the present legislation relative to oil ships. The "Cantabria" is an environmentally respectful double hull ship (Green Ship), abiding all international conventions and laws in this respect. Complying with more stringent international standards of preservation of the marine environment, including known as MARPOL Convention proposed by the International Maritime Organization for civilian tankers. It has double hull and has a comprehensive system to deal with the waste generated by the ship.

The state-of-the-art Combat System, a Spanish R&D product, permits the ship to operate within a Naval Force. The ship is equipped with the modern SCOMBA Combat System, a Spanish Navy R&D project which will permit the integration of the "CANTABRIA" into a Naval Force. The main features of the SCOMBA are: management and processing of all tactical information received from sensors and the distribution of radar video and TV video signals to the Tactical Console Tables. It also provides capabilities to manage and display tactical information, self-defence, aircraft control, operations planning and information exchange with other external systems.

To this end, there are other associated elements:

  • 2 radars: ARIES SAAS-NAV for surface search, and SAAS-SCH for helicopter control. Both are LPI and digital projects from INDRA operating in "I" band. The SAAS-SCH radar has also an IFF CIT-25D transponder system for "friend or foe" identification.
  • RIGEL ESM system, also an INDRA project: a passive countermeasures system capable of detecting LPI radars and connected to 6 chaff launchers.
  • DIANA System: Navigation Data Distribution System developed by INDRA, connecting and distributing data from the GPS, AIS, gyroscope, sounder and weather station to the SCOMBA Combat System.
  • LINK-11-LINPRO, a R&D TECNOBIT processor. A data exchange system among different ships.
  • Optronic Surveillance System (SVO) developed by TECNOBIT: a TV and FLIR surveillance system capable of tracking targets, video recording, sector search and laser measurement system.
  • CONAM C2D/C3D multifunction console tables. 4 console tables: one triple and three double developed by SAINSEL to display tactical data, radar video, TV video and interchangeable processors
  • The ship has also a SPERRY navigational radar..
Ship weapons include:
  • Four BROWNING machineguns
  • Four MG-42 machineguns
  • Pre-installation for MK-38 mountings

As regards air capability, the "CANTABRIA" can operate in all-weather conditions and in a sea-state 5. The ship is a platform for medium and/or heavy helicopters that can be used for VERTREP and for self-defence with organic helicopters. Hangar capacity is for 2 SH-3D/NH-90 or 3 AB-212. The flight deck lighting system is compatible with night vision goggles.

The ship has an indigenous and modern R&D Integrated Platform Control System (SICP) designed by NAVANTIA, highly automated for the control of the propulsion system, steering, cargo, ballast and all auxiliary devices. This system allows for smaller crews. Special care has been taken in relation to crew accommodation combining comfort and ergonomics. The crew consists of 122 people (50% can be female personnel) with available space for the embarked air unit (20) and a reserve space for a further 20. There are 16 officers and 21 NCOs. The remaining personnel are petty officers, seamen and ratings (28 female). They come from all over the country, especially from Galicia.

There is also a 214 square metre hospital area with for 4 beds; an ICU with 4 further beds, sick bay, sick reception area, a fully equipped operating theatre with telemedicine capability, X-rays, dentist, a sterilization lab and gases station.

For embarking, disembarking and movement of solid cargo, there is a 20 ton crane, two smaller cranes and three cargo lifts. The ship has 2 RHIB boats and two ZODIAC boats with cranes in both sides to handle these craft.

The "CANTABRIA" is ready to operate in environmental protection missions in the maritime sphere, namely:

  • Receive fuel spilled and collected by specialised ships and unload it in a safe place.
  • Transport and scatter anti-pollution components.
  • Transport and deploy a 200-metre long oceanic inflatable barrier in less than 15 minutes.
For storage of polluting elements there are two containers on the 01 deck with side and front doors. It is worth underlining that, for the first time in the history of naval shipbuilding, a Spanish Navy unit has received the Lloyd's Register EME certification. The "CANTABRIA" is a Green Ship that abides by all International laws and agreements in this respect (MARPOL). She is a double hull ship with a sewage treatment plant, water-oil divider and waste processing plants (garbage disposal unit and incinerator).

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Page last modified: 25-01-2013 18:56:30 ZULU