The Spanish Navy's fifth F-100 Alvaro de Bazan class frigate Cristobal Colon, which is currently under construction in Navantia, is preparing to undergo sea trials after a period of dry docking for hull and platform readiness in March 2012.
Currently in the final phase of construction, the frigate will also complete the combat system integration functional trials in March before beginning sea trials in May 2012.
The 133.2m-long Cristobal Colon has a full load displacement capacity of 6,014t, can cruise at a maximum speed of 28.5kts and is capable of accommodating a crew of 234.
The multipurpose frigate features new solutions and technology to meet demanding challenges posed by present and future threats, as well as provide flexibility to operate in littoral waters or high seas.
The ship also features high air warfare capability and can be optimised to operate as a flagship in conflict scenarios as part of an allied fleet and support expeditionary forces.
Powered by Navantia / Caterpillar Bravo 16V propulsion engines, the ship is equipped with a Lockheed Martin Aegis System linked to radar SPY-1D (V), an updated system of the navigation data distribution network.
The ship's new Spanish sensors and weapons are integrated into the Aegis System through a new version of CDS, developed by Navantia FABA Systems, RAS sliding padeyes as well as a retractable bow thruster for manoeuvring and emergencies.
The Spanish Navy had placed orders for the first batch of four ships 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. Navantia is expected to deliver the new frigate to the Spanish Navy for commissioning in July 2012.