The Buques de Acción Marítima (BAM) is being built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy. The vessel is intended to replace the aging Barceló, Anaga, Conejera, Toralla and Descubierta Class of patrol boats.
The keel for the lead ship in the class, Meteoro (P-41), was laid in October 2007. It was launched in October 2009 for commissioning in 2011. The keel for the second vessel, Rayo (P-42), was laid in September 2009. The ship was launched in May 2010. The Relámpago (P-43) was laid in December 2009 and launched in October 2010. The Tornado (P-44) was launched in March 2011.
In September 2010, the Spanish Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Navantia for additional four vessels to be delivered by 2015.
The BAM programme was developed under a phased armament programming system in five stages including an assessment of operational requirements, pre-feasibility, feasibility, project definition and shipbuilding.
The first stage commenced in September 2004. Feasibility studies followed in April 2005.
The Spanish Navy signed a shipbuilding contract with Navantia for the first ship in July 2006.
According to the programme timelines, four units were delivered by the end of 2010, with BAM P-41 (Meteoro) delivered in July 2009, BAM P-42 (Rayo) in March 2010, BAM P-43 (Relámpago) in July 2010 and BAM P-44 (Tornado) in November 2010. The ships were built at San Fernando / Puerto Real Shipyards (Cádiz) of Navantia.
The BAM’s design is based on an automated platform that features specific military characteristics. The modular design is capable of adapting configurations according to mission requirements. The ship is equipped with a combined diesel and electric propulsion plant. The loaded tip propellers increase speed and reduce noise and fuel consumption.
The ship’s state-of-the-art command and control system allows the crew to operate the vessel in littoral environments. The BAM can carry six containers accommodating UAVs, firing targets, signal simulators, anti-pollution assets, divers support and workshops.
The vessel is equipped with a helicopter platform, rescue equipment and medical facilities and can be deployed in a range of missions including patrols and protection.
The ship design can also be modified for non-oceanic missions such as hydrographic research, intelligence gathering, divers support and submarine rescue operations.
The ship is armed with a OtoBreda 76/62mm gun, two Mk38 25mm automatic cannons and two 12.7mm machine guns. The OtoBreda 76mm compact can fire 85 rounds a minute, while super rapid can fire 120 rounds a minute.
The BAM has a helicopter deck measuring 24.7m by 13.5m. It supports the operations of AB-212, NH-90 or SH-3D Sea King helicopters. The hangar can accommodate an AB-212 or NH-90 helicopter.
The vessel is fitted with an electronic warfare package including intelligence subsystem, digital receivers and a low-probability-of-intercept radar systems developed by Indra.
The ship is equipped by a CODOE propulsion system. The system integrates two 4,500kW diesel engines and two 750kW electric engines driving two controllable pitch propellers. Onboard power is generated by four 660kW main diesel gensets and an emergency generator rated at 260kW. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 20.5kt.
Accommodation facilities are provided for 35 crew members in ten cabins. Apart from the crew, the ship can accommodate 35 people in seven cabins.
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