The Spanish defense procurement agency DGAM and shipbuilder Navantia have selected Thales sonars to equip the Spanish Navy’s five new multi-mission frigates.
The F110 frigates will be fitted with the CAPTAS 4 compact and the BlueMaster sonars, and the BlueScan digital acoustic system for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.
They will be integrated through Navantia’s combat management system SCOMBA F110 and will enable the service to conduct maritime surveillance, search and protection missions in any theater of operations.
BlueScan is a collaborative ASW solution that processes significantly higher volumes of sonar data from various different platforms to provide the operator with a complete overview of the acoustic situation in real time. The solution leverages big data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to bring naval forces a tactical advantage.
Under this contract, key underwater acoustics technology will be transferred to Spanish industry, in particular for the supply of the TUUM-6 digital underwater communication system and acoustic arrays.
“After two years of talks with the Spanish Navy and Navantia about this contract to equip five F110 frigates, we welcome Spain’s decision to join other NATO countries (the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Norway) and Australia in placing their trust in Thales for their anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities,” Alexis Morel, Vice President, Underwater Systems, Thales.
Navantia will build the five frigates under a 4.3 billion euro contract which was approved by the defense ministry in December 2018.
The first ship of the new class is expected to be delivered in 2025 and the final one 2030 or 2031.
In addition to ASW sonars, the frigates will receive new solid-state S-band radars delivered by Lockheed Martin.
The ships will be 145 meters long and displace 6,100 tons. Equipped with a 5-inch main gun, Harpoon missiles, torpedo launchers, two 30mm guns and a 16-cell vertical launch system, the F-110 frigates will be replacing the Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigates.