Spanish Navy's Cristobal ColonNavantia has begun the final sea trials of Alvaro de Bazan-class frigate Cristobal Colon (F-105) for the Spanish Navy off the coast of northern Spain.

During the week-long sea trials, the frigate will undergo combat system integration testing and also carry anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, electronic war and communications exercises to validate onboard sensors and weapon systems.

The frigate has been integrated with the combat system SPY-1D (V) version and incorporates modern sensors and weapons, making it the most advanced of all the F-100 class vessels.

Navantia will conduct sea trials of the Cristobal Colon in cooperation with other surface units, including an F-100 class frigate, land radio stations and communication satellites.

The fifth frigate in the F-100 series, Cristobal Colon is 133.2m-long and has a full-load displacement capacity of 6,014t, it also features high air combat capabilities.

"Cristobal Colon is 133.2m-long and has a full-load displacement capacity of 6,014t."

Designed to meet demanding challenges posed by present and future threats, the multipurpose frigate is capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 28.5kt and can carry a crew of 234.

In addition to providing flexibility to operate in littoral waters or high seas, the Cristobal Colon features new solutions and technologies and can be optimised to operate as a flagship in conflict scenarios as part of an allied fleet and support expeditionary forces.

An order for the delivery of first batch of four ships was placed with Navantia by the Spanish Navy in January 1997 and took delivery of the fourth ship in March 2006, while the procurement of the fifth vessel was approved in May 2006.

The Spanish Navy is likely to commission its fifth frigate in July.

Image: Spanish Navy’s Cristobal Colon is the fifth in the F-100 series frigate. Photo: courtesy of Navantia.