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F-110 Frigate

The Spanish Navy’s F-110 Frigate, manufactured by Navantia, is intended to replace the country’s six Santa Maria-class ships as they approach the end of their operational life from 2020. With a full service date of 2025, the fleet will seek to provide a multi-purpose capability for at least forty years and will deliver a platform for unmanned surface, subsurface and aerial vehicles.

As of 2014 the biggest difference between the F-110 design and the F-300 (the Norwegian frigate - a modified and downsized version of the F-100) is that the F-110 is a bit longer. Bsically it's an down-scaled Spanish F-100 frigate, and an up scaled Norwegian frigate design.

The frigate force is based upon American designs with six Oliver Hazard Perrys (as the Santa María class) and three Baleares class. There were plans for a successor class of frigates designated the F110, to enter service soon after 2010, but these were suspended for financial reasons. It is interesting to note that an artist's impression of the F 110 shown at the Defence IQ conference on Future Naval Plans and Requirements in May 2005 showed a vessel which externally resembled the US Navy's DD(X)/DDG-1000 design. The characteristics of this design were for long not clear, and as of 2010 the program had been indefinitely postponed in favor of additional F-100 class frigates and the new BAM class corvettes.

Defence Minister Peter Morenés visited the headquarters of the Navy on 30 July 2013, where he was received by the Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA) Admiral Jaime Muñoz-Delgado and Diaz del Rio, during a workshop on the development of new frigates F-110. In the offices of the General Staff of the Navy, the minister was briefed on the progress of the construction of the F-110 frigates. The project includes the construction of five units, was currently under design.

In relation to time limits for the realization of the program, phase of conceptual definition was expected to end in mid-2014. In August 2015 the Spanish government approved its new generation of frigates after authorizing a first R&D contract of €135.3 million (US $150.3 million) to develop the F-110 series from 2015 until 2020. The purpose of this R&D contract is the implementation of three programs: develop the integration of sensors on the mast, the incorporation of new capabilities in the Scomba combat system and actuation and control of missile systems to be installed in future frigates F -110.

It was expected F-110 frigates will replace the six Santa María-class frigates (F-80) of the Spanish Navy from 2022 until 2030. By 2015 the plan was to build five new frigates. The beginning of the construction was scheduled for the years 2018-2020 with the entry into service of the first unit by 2025. For ships there is an operational life of 40 years, with a MLU (Mid Life Update) at age 20, until the 2050-2060. Building these frigates, ready for both coastal and low intensity operations for offshore missions of high intensity should be a reality in 2022, the expected delivery date of the first unit. These come in successive years until last do around 2030.

The Spanish Navy presented this kind of ship in different international forums, having received this design with great interest. In the specialized media there are discussions of the care shown by other naval forces. In the case of Australia, there was a need to replace the four Adelaide class frigates that are active and the eight Anzacs.

On June 26, 2018 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Spain of five (5) AEGIS Weapons Systems (AWS) for an estimated cost of $860.4 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Government of Spain requested to buy five (5) AEGIS Weapons Systems (AWS) MK7, six (6) shipsets Digital Signal Processing, five (5) shipsets AWS Computing Infrastructure MARK 1 MOD 0, five (5) shipsets Operational Readiness Test Systems (ORTS), five (5) shipsets MK 99 MOD 14 Fire Control System, five (5) shipsets MK 41 Baseline VII Vertical Launching Systems (VLS), two (2) All-Up-Round MK 54 Mod 0 lightweight torpedoes, twenty (20) SM-2 Block IIIB missiles and MK 13 canisters with AN/DKT-71 warhead compatible telemeter. Also included are one (1) S4 AWS computer program, five (5) shipsets Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Satellite Communications (SATCOM), five (5) shipsets AN/SRQ-4 radio terminal sets, five (5) shipsets ordnance handling equipment, five (5) shipsets Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Modules (SAASM), five (5) shipsets aviation handling and support equipment, five (5) shipsets AN/SLQ-24E Torpedo countermeasures systems, five (5) shipsets LM04 Thru-Hull XBT Launcher and test canisters, one (1) shipset MK 36 MOD 6 Decoy Launching System, five (5) shipsets Link Level COMSEC (LLC) 7M for LINK 22, five (5) shipsets Maintenance Assist Module (MAM) cabinets, five (5) shipsets technical documentation, five (5) shipsets installation support material, special purpose test equipment, system engineering, technical services, on-site vendor assistance, spare parts, systems training, foreign liaison office and staging services necessary to support ship construction and delivery, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, support equipment, repair and return support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistic and program support. The total estimated program cost is $860.4 million.

The proposed sale would support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Spain in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

The addition of five (5) new AEGIS equipped frigates to Spain's fleet would afford more flexibility and capability to counter regional threats and continue to enhance stability in the region. Spain currently operates 5 AEGIS frigates and is proficient at using the AEGIS system to its fullest capability. Spain has demonstrated the capability, flexibility, and responsibility necessary to acquire this AEGIS system into its fleet and will continue to operate it as required to ensure interoperability as a highly valued NATO partner. Spain will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors was Lockheed Martin, Moorestown, NJ, and Manassas, VA; Raytheon Company, Waltham, MA; and General Dynamics, Williston, VT. There are also a significant number of companies under contract with the U.S. Navy that provide components and systems as well as engineering services during the execution of this effort. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The trade union representatives who were negotiating with the management of the Navantia public naval enterprise, which is called to be the first collective agreement, walked out on the last day of the negotiation table due to the lack of progress. What was unanimously decided by all union representatives has been "to get up from the table, but not to give up the negotiations". "At the moment, if necessary, that Navantia will move us a new proposal, we will value it and decide". They noted discrepancies in aspects such as incorporations, early retirement, assimilations and retirement supplement. The Minister of Economy, Economy and Industry, Francisco Conde, stated 20 November 2018 that the start of the construction of the Frigates F-110 in the shipyards of Navantia Ferrol is "the sole responsibility" of the central Government presided over by the socialist Pedro Sánchez.

Defense-Aerospace.com reproted 06 December 2018 that the Ministry of Finance was reviewing the final draft of the contract to order five F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy, and the entire package should be submitted to the government’s Cabinet for approval in the coming weeks. The most likely date is Dec. 28, according to Spanish media, when the Cabinet will meet for the final time of the year. After meeting last week with Minister of Defense Margarita Robles, Spanish media reported that the General Secretary of the Galician Socialists, Gonzalo Caballero, welcomed the effort made by the new Socialist government to launch the new program, and criticized the previous Government of the Popular Party which he accused of having sat on the order since 2014.

The preliminary design review woudl follow by the end of 2019, leading to construction launch of the lead ship, F-111, by mid-2020, with the other ships following at the rate of one per year.

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Page last modified: 10-12-2018 18:38:17 ZULU