· The frigate “Canarias” is replaced by this ship, which intends to participate in the EU naval force until next February
The frigate “Victoria” has begun its integration into EUNAVFOR, the European Union force which conducts operation Atalanta in the seas off the Horn of Africa and aims to prevent piracy, to contribute to the improvement of maritime security in the Indian Ocean, to protect the vulnerable traffic in the area -in particular ships from the World Food Programme (WPF)- and to supervise fishing activities off the coast of Somalia. “Victoria” replaces the frigate “Canarias”, which started its participation last July and is now returning to its base in Rota.
Currently, the operation counts with two ships: the Italian Navy frigate “Antonio Marceglia” and the Spanish frigate “Victoria”. In addition, the European contingent has two maritime patrol aircrafts, one from Germany and another one from Spain, as well as protective equipment on board a ship from the World Food Programme. At present, in the area of operations, the command corresponds to a multinational Staff headed by an Italian Admiral on board the “Antonio Marceglia”. However, the frigate “Victoria” will assume responsibility of the flagship´s functions from December.
The frigate “Victoria”, second frigate of the Santa Maria-class, was delivered to the Navy in 1.987. With its 137 meters of length, it is able to displace 4,000 tons, having a crew of more than two hundred men and women. The “Victoria” has previously participated three times in the Operation “Atalanta” in the years 2009, 2010 and 2015.
The European Union Operation Atalanta, nearing its 11th anniversary and based in the multinational headquarters at Naval Station Rota since 29th March, is under the command of the Divisional General of the Spanish Marine Infantry Antonio Planells Palau.