The Patino auxiliary oiler and multiproduct replenishment ship entered service with the Spanish Navy in June 1995. The 17,045t Patino (AOR), the 13,600t Marques de la Ensenada fleet tanker (AORL) and the 2,272t Contramaestre Casado transport ship (AP) are the three major auxiliaries, i.e. tanker and supply ships, in the Armada Espanola.
The Patino, which has a speed of 20kt and a range of over 13,450 miles, replaced the Teide as the navy’s main carrier group support ship.
A second replenishment ship, the Cantabria, was launched at the Navantia Shipyards in Puerto Real (Cadiz). Cantabria is a larger version of the Patino (19,500t). It was delivered to the Spanish Navy in July 2010.
The 170m-long tanker was designed under a joint initiative between Navantia (formerly Bazan, then Izar) in Spain and the Dutch Netherlands United Shipbuilding Bureau (NEVESBU) based in the Hague. Spain and the Netherlands were also pursuing a joint LPD programme which resulted in the Rotterdam for the RNlN and the Galicia for the Spanish Navy.
The Spanish Ministry of Defence ordered the Patino fleet logistic tanker in December 1991. The Patino, which carries the pennant number A14, was built at Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard and was launched in the summer of 1994. The Netherland’s Amsterdam Class fast combat support ship, of a very similar design, was built by Merwede and Royal Shelde and commissioned in 1995.
The Patino, operated from the Rota base at Cadiz, has a crew of 148 plus 19 aircrew. There is additional accommodation for 20 additional crew for example training, fleet personnel or special operations crew. The crew services include a fully equipped medical centre.
The weapons systems include two Oerlikon 20mm guns and the vessel is fitted for two Izar FABA Systems Meroka 20mm close-in weapon systems (CIWS). The guns have a rate of fire of 1,440 rounds a minute and range of up to 2,000m. The Meroka CIWS includes infrared camera and video autotracker.
The Patino is fitted with three navigation / surface search and helicopter control radars operating at I-band.
The countermeasures suite includes: four mk36 SRBOC (super rapid blooming offboard chaff) six-barrelled launchers from Lockheed Martin Sippican which fire infrared decoys and chaff for confusion, distraction and seduction of incoming anti-ship missiles to a range of 4km; an AN/SLQ-25A Nixie towed torpedo decoy system from Argon ST of Newington, Virginia which has two towed units that emit acoustic signals from an onboard transmitter; and an Aldebaran electronic support measures / electronic countermeasures ESM/ECM) system supplied by Spain’s Indra Group.
Both the port and starboard side of the ship have a liquid cargo and solids replenishment station. A vertical replenishment (vertrep) supply station allows fast transfer of ordnance and other stores from ship to ship or to shore. There is a stern refuelling station that is preferred for refuelling operations in high sea states.
The diesel fuel cargo capacity is 6,820t and the aviation fuel capacity is 1,660t. The Patino can also carry 500t of food and ordnance stores.
The Patino can support three Sikorsky Sea King SH-3D helicopters. The 490m² flight deck is at the stern. Accomodation is provided for 19 aircrew and air staff. A workshop is fully equipped for aircraft overhaul and maintenance.
The ship is fitted with two Navantia / Burmeister and Wein 16V40/45 diesel engines rated at 17.6MW sustained power. The engines drive a single shaft with a five-blade controllable pitch propeller supplied by Lips BV of the Netherlands.
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