Spanish shipbuilder Navantia Tuesday revealed details of the F-110, a new guided-missile project to replace the Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigates in the 2020s.
Francisco Vilchez Rodriguez, Navantia’s F-110 program director, briefed reporters here at the Euronaval exposition just outside Paris on details of the project. The aim, he said, is to move to a detailed design and construction contract in 2016, with the first of five new frigates entering service in 2022.
Developed jointly by the Spanish Navy and Navantia, the multi-mission frigates will have a variety of warfare capabilities, ranging from anti-air, -surface and –submarine warfare, to power projection and asymmetric warfare features.
Major design details still need to be decided, Rodriguez said, beginning with which of three alternative designs to develop. Labeled Alternatives 1, 2 and 3, the designs range from larger, more capable and more expensive alternatives to cheaper alternatives.
The Spanish Navy, Rodriguez said, prefers Alternative 2, but Spain’s ministry of defense has yet to approve a choice.
The ships, Rodriguez said, will feature smaller crews than the ships they’ll replace, have efficient operating and life-cycle costs, and feature a high level of survivability — the ability to take damage and continue their mission.
The ships will probably be armed with a five-inch gun and vertical-launch missile systems, likely two 8-cell launchers.
A large mission bay will be fitted amidships with mission module capability, he noted. A large hangar and flight deck aft will be sized for two helicopters, plus unmanned aircraft systems.
The ships’ forward superstructure will be topped with a pyramidal integrated mast featuring planar-array S-band radars. Weapons and sensors will be directed by Navantia’s Scomba combat system.
Details of the propulsion plant have yet to be decided, although Rodriguez noted the hybrid plant would feature “a totally new configuration,” combining diesel electric and gas turbine machinery driving water jets rather than propellers.
Meanwhile, Italian shipbuilder Intermarine S.p.A. and Lockheed Martin announced they had secured a contract to support a new, six-ship class of mine countermeasures vessels for Taiwan to be built by Ching Fu Shipbuilding of Kaohsiung.