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Frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' joins the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 as the Spanish contribution

Mediterranean Sea
October 5, 2022
  • The frigate brings Spanish capabilities to the Alliance

Frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' continues its deployment, under national operational control of the Operations Command, in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2).

The frigate is the second unit of a series of five multi-purpose frigates. These vessels, built in Ferrol, are one of the most advanced warships in the world, especially due to the capabilities they bring.

For this reason, she contributes to operations by providing a powerful air surveillance and defence capability due to its AEGIS combat system and the SPY-1D (V) multi-function radar.

The AEGIS Combat System is an information and weapons management system that allows the ship to operate in triple threat environments. In this way, the ship can respond to attacks coming from the air, from other ships or from submarines. This system is one of the most effective among advanced navies.

Likewise, the SPY-1D(V) airborne radar is the heart of AEGIS. It is one of the most capable and effective radars designed to date, allowing detection and tracking of a large number of air and surface contacts, as well as guidance for anti-aircraft missiles (SM-II and ESSM). The vertical missile launch system, with 48 cells, also provides the ship with the necessary firepower for its self-defence and other units defence.

Ambas capacidades permiten a la ‘Cristóbal Colón’ ejercer funciones principales en el área de defensa aérea de la SNMG-2, proporcionando una vigilancia 24/7 hasta los 500 km en distancia y 40 hm de elevación.

Both capabilities allow frigate 'Cristóbal Colón' to carry out main functions in the air defence area of the SNMG-2, providing 24/7 surveillance up to a distance of 500 km and 40 hm height.

The other main system of the Spanish frigate is its LAMPS system, its main component being the Sirkorsky SH60B helicopter. It is an aircraft specially suited to provide defence in surface warfare, and secondarily, in submarine warfare. The helicopter constitutes one more sensor of the ship, since all its systems are integrated and allows real-time monitoring of its systems from the vessel. This extends surface and underwater surveillance capabilities to several hundred kilometers.

Currently, 226 men and women are deployed at the frigate, including a Marine Corps Security Operational Team and the Embarked Air Unit of an SH-60B helicopter