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Santa Maria-class Guided Missile Frigate

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The Spanish frigate SPS Santa Maria (F81), the first of the Santa Maria-class air defense frigates.
The Santa Maria-class guided missile frigates are the Spanish Navy's designation for six locally-built warships based on the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates of the United States Navy.

Built in two batches, second batch units (F-85&86) received some improvements, such as an improved combat-data system, updated SPS-49 and SQR-19 sets, and a new Meroka mount. The Mk92Mod6 CORT replaced the previous Mod4, providing better capabilities against sea skimmers. The EW suite was also updated.

Spanish ships have a slightly bigger beam and were built with a greater weight reserve for future improvements. Other changes, from the basic model, include Meroka replacing Phanlanx and a RAN-12L air search radar to provide low horizon coverage against sea skimmers cueing the Meroka CIWS mount. The Nettunel EW suite (based on the Italian Nettuno built in Spain) replaced the SLQ-32 system fitted aboard US ships.

The class is currently receiving a mid-life update (MLU), including a new EW suite, improved combat-data system, an upgrade of the Mk92 FCS, new electrical generators, the removal of the SQR-19 TACTASS towed array and habitability improvements. Four ships have already been modernized.

Specifications[edit]

  • Type: Guided Missile Frigate
  • Service Period: 1986-Present
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 455 feet 5 inches (138.81 meters)
    • Beam: 46 feet 11 inches (14.3 meters)
    • Draft: 28 feet 3 inches (8.61 meters)
    • Displacement: 2,851 long tons (2,897 t) light; 3,610 long tons (3,668 t) standard; 4,177 long tons (4,244 t) full load
  • Crew: 176
  • Propulsion:
    • 2 x General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines generating 41,000 shp (31 MW) coupled to a single shaft and controllable pitch propeller
    • 2 × Auxiliary Propulsion Units, 350 hp (260 kW) retractable electric azimuth thrusters for maneuvering and docking
  • Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,334 kilometers) at 20 knots (37.04 km/h)
  • Speed: 30 knots (55.56 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • AN/SPS-49(V)4/5 2D Air Search Radar
    • Meroka RAN-30 2D Low Horizon Air Search Radar
    • AN/SPS-55 Surface Search Radar
    • AN/SPG-60 STIR Missile Control
    • AN/SQS-56 Hull Mounted Sonar
    • AN/SQS-19(V)2 Towed Array Sonar
    • AN/SQQ-89 ASW Suite
    • Mk.13 Weapons Control System
    • Mk.92 Fire Control System
  • Countermeasures:
    • Nettunel Mk-3000 Electronic Warfare Suite
    • AN/SLQ-25 Nixie
    • Mk.36 SBROC decoy launchers
  • Armament:
    • 1 x OTO Melara 76mm/62-caliber Mk.75 naval gun
    • 1 x Mk.13 Mod 4 Single Arm Missile Launcher (fires RIM-66 SM-1MR SAMs and RGM-84 Harpoon AShMs)
    • 2 x Mk.32 Mod 5 Triple fire torpedo tubes (fires Mk.46 Mod 5 torpedoes)
    • 1 x 20mm/120-caliber Meroka 12 barrel AA system
  • Aircraft Carried: 1-2 x SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III maritime helicopters

Unit Run[edit]

  • SPS Santa Maria (F81)
  • SPS Victoria (F82)
  • SPS Numancia (F83)
  • SPS Reina Sofía (F84)
  • SPS Navarra (F85)
  • SPS Canarias (F86)
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