Successful Sea Acceptance Trials of Colombian Almirante Padilla-class Frigates

By on Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Thales and DCNS announce the comprehensive modernization program of the Colombian Navy’s four Almirante Padilla class frigates has been concluded with a successful Sea Acceptance Test of the class’s fourth ship. The contract with the Colombian authorities was signed early 2009, with DCNS acting as prime contractor and Thales as the lead systems integrator for the combat system and communications suite.

In the scope of this modernization program, Thales and local shipyard, Cotecmar, have installed and integrated the SMART-S Mk2 surveillance radar, STING EO Mk2 electro-optic weapon control system, MIRADOR optronic weapon control system, VIGILE 200S electronic support measures (ESM) system, communications systems and Terma’s SKWS decoys launching system, on the four Padilla class ships. Thales has also modernized the vessels’ Altesse communications intelligence (COMINT) systems.

“This program demonstrates that Thales is perfectly capable of realizing a large modernization program within an agreed timeframe and according to the customer’s requirements. It also proves that modernizing existing platforms is a good way to considerably extend the ships’ life cycles, and significantly enhance their capabilities” said Aniss Aqallal, Thales Colombia Country Director. “Our success in the Padilla program highlights our strong commitment to Colombia’s defence strategy, as was underlined by the Minister of Defence, Juan Carlos Pinzón, during his speech at the final site acceptance test ceremony.”

Pierre Legros, DCNS Surface Naval Systems Senior Vice President, said: “The successful modernization of Colombia’s Almirante Padilla frigate demonstrates DCNS’s ability to lead the overall project management of such a modernization program to the complete satisfaction of the client. DCNS draws on both the expertise of Cotecmar shipyard, which was selected by the Colombian Navy, and those of its partners, first and foremost Thales, while respecting the Government-to-Government agreement signed between France and Colombia.”

Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements.

DCNS designs and builds submarines and surface combatants, develops associated systems and infrastructure, and offers a full range of services to naval bases and shipyards. The Group has also expanded its focus into civil nuclear energy and marine renewable energy. The DCNS Group generates annual revenues of €3.4 billion and employs 13,600 people (2013 data).

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