Spain’s Ministry of Defense signed a contract with local shipbuilder Navantia on April 23 covering construction for a new class of five F-110 multimission frigates. The EUR4.317 billion ($4.83 billion) project represents the Spanish Navy’s cornerstone capital program through 2035, forming part of the larger EUR7 billion-plus military investment package signed off on by the Socialist government last December. The government will cover the cost of the F-110 project with payments made this year through 2032.
According to Navantia, production work is to begin shortly in Ferrol, with each new warship containing 80 percent indigenous Spanish content. Features will include a Spanish combat system, SCOMBA, developed by Navantia that serves as the intelligence center for the ship by integrating all its sensors and weapons. These include Indra Information Friend or Foe (IFF), Band S radar, Lockheed Martin vertical launchers, SAES sonars and the navigation and communications systems from Navantia Sistemas.
Planning for the F-110 future frigates – which will replace the Spanish Navy’s six Santa Maria class frigates built in the early 1980s – began in 2009. A feasibility study conducted by Navantia between January and July 2014 resulted in a baseline design of the ship, allowing the Spanish Navy to move on to the project definition phase.
As a result of that phase, which ran through 2015, the former Rajoy government agreed to sign an R&D contract with Navantia (worth EUR135 million) regarding a series of technological programs to develop and integrate radar and electronic warfare systems.
A detailed design-and-build contract fell under the latest 15-year cycle of defense investments planned by the Ministry of Defense, with a final execution order for the project approved by the Council of Ministers on March 29.
Delivery of the first warship is scheduled for 2026, with the final ship arriving in 2031.