Ministry of Defence Logo Defence Staff logo
Mapa del mundo

The offshore patrol vessel Infanta Cristina starts its last maritime surveillance mission in the south of the Peninsula

At sea
July 14, 2023
  • The Navy vessel will carry out one the permanent missions in the Armed Forces in areas under national sovereignty.

The offshore patrol vessel Infanta Cristina will set to sail during July 17-31 in order to carry out surveillance and security missions of the maritime areas under national sovereignty, within presence, surveillance and deterrence operations of the Armed Forces. In this period, it has foreseen to call at the port of Cádiz.

Navigation depends upon the Maritime Operational Command (MOM in Spanish), under the operational control of the Operations Command (MOPS in Spanish). The vessel’s personnel is formed by 70 people and 7 marine corps of the Operational Security Team from the “Tercio de Levante” (TERLEV in Spanish, English equivalent ‘Eastern Regiment’).

The offshore patrol vessel Infanta Cristina

Built as the fourth “Descubierta” class corvette by the Bazán National Enterprise in Cartagena, the vessel was delivered to the Navy on November 24, 1980. The National Flag was hoisted on board for the first time by Princess Cristina de Borbón. Between September 2004 and June 2005, it was redesigned to an offshore patrol vessel (P-77) was carried out. Its actual base is in Cartagena.

Its main mission at the present is to carry out presence, surveillance and deterrence operations in areas under national sovereignty.

The vessel foresees to end its operational life next September 30 after 43 years of service. Since the foundation of the MOM in 2013 (formerly known as Maritime Surveillance and Security Command), it has conducted a total of 43 missions of maritime security, which makes up more than 530 days at sea, cooperating and supporting other public bodies in the control of maritime traffic, fisheries surveillance and search and rescue of shipwrecked people.

Maritime Action Force (FAM)

The FAM, integrated in the Fleet (FLOTA in Spanish), is formed by a set of units whose main task is to get prepared for the protection of international maritime interests and the control of maritime áreas of national sovereignty and interest. It is in charge, with a comprehensive approach, of ensuring permanent cooperation with the different Administration bodies with competences in the maritime field, which constitutes the contribution of the Navy to the State Action at Sea.

Maritime Operational Command (MOM)

The Maritime Operational Command is the body within the operational structure of the Armed Forces, subordinate to the Chief of Defence Staff, responsible, at its own level, for the planning, implementation and monitoring of the permanent operations of surveillance and security of the maritime spaces of sovereignty, responsibility and national interest. It is under the command of the Vice Admiral of Maritime Action and has its base in Cartagena.

Presence, Surveillance and Deterrence Operations

The Presence, Surveillance and Deterrence Operations are an effective tool for the maintenance of surveillance of sovereignty spaces, which enables to detect threats in advance and to facilitate an immediate and viable response in the event of a potential crisis.

The Operational Commands of Land (MOT), Maritime (MOM), Aerospace (MOA), and the recently created Cyberspace (MOC) conform the structure of the Permanent Commands.

On a daily basis, 3,000 Armed Forces personnel are involved in the permanent operations of presence, surveillance and deterrence, under the operational control of MOPS.