Navantia, a Spanish shipbuilding company, has commenced the construction of the second F-110 class frigate for the Spanish Navy, with a steel-cutting ceremony for the F-112 at Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard on 16 December 2023, attended by prominent Spanish government officials.
This step, part of a €4.3bn ($4.7bn) program initiated in 2019, puts the development of the five frigates ahead of schedule, with the first frigate of the class, the F-111, advancing faster than planned.
Currently, 24 of its 33 blocks are in various construction stages, surpassing the 18 initially scheduled blocks, and procurement for the program is nearly complete, according to a release from Navantia, with 98% of equipment acquired and material procurement reaching 95% for the F-111 and 70% for the F-112.
These multi-purpose F-110 frigates will serve various roles, including anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and anti-submarine operations, equipped with the Spanish SCOMBA combat system. They feature advanced technology, including an integrated mast with various sensors, a multi-mission space, and a new, more efficient hybrid propulsion system.
The construction of these frigates is a key component of Navantia’s Digital Transformation Plan in Ferrol, involving a €110m investment in a new digital block factory. This facility, whose foundation was laid on December 16, will feature full digitalisation, automation, robotics, and advanced technology, including hybrid laser technology for improved efficiency.
The F-110 project significantly impacts the local economy and supply chain, engaging over 500 Spanish companies and potentially creating up to 9,000 jobs.
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These frigates will be the first in the Spanish fleet to have a Digital Twin, a virtual replica for remote maintenance and operation support, and an Integrated Services System developed with the Universities of Vigo and Coruña. This system will integrate sensors into the ship’s light points, reducing wiring. The ships will also have onboard 3D printers for spare parts production and an integrated cybersecurity system to protect against cyberthreats, allowing for a reduced crew complement.