Spain’s government has given the go-ahead for the project launch regarding a procurement of new-generation frigates. The new class of ships will be referred to as the F-110 series and will replace the six Santa Maria-class frigates (F-80) commissioned into Spanish Navy service between 1986 and 1994.
Together with Spain’s state-owned shipbuilding giant, Navantia, the Spanish Navy has already defined the requirements and undertaken concept studies for a new class of F-110 frigates.
A feasibility study conducted by Navantia between January and July of 2014 resulted in a baseline design of the ship, allowing the Spanish Navy to move on to the project definition phase. That phase is now underway with Madrid authorizing an initial research and design (R&D) contract worth EUR135.3 million for a fully-costed system-level design.
A detailed design-and-build contract is then expected to follow in early 2016 with delivery of the first vessel planned for 2022. From 2022 through 2030 the new F-110s will be brought into service and the Santa Maria-class phased out.
The new ships will be expected to operate in high-threat scenarios, forming battlegroups or performing alone in coastal domains. The ships mission requirements will include air-defense, asymmetric warfare, maritime safety, naval power projection and military-civil cooperation.
An integrated mast incorporating the communication system, radar, electronic warfare and optronics is rumored to be the main feature of the new ships.