Guided missile frigate Cristóbal Colón (F 105)

Guided missile frigate Cristóbal Colón (F 105) 0Guided missile frigate Cristóbal Colón (F 105) 1Guided missile frigate Cristóbal Colón (F 105) 2Guided missile frigate Cristóbal Colón (F 105) 3



Basic information

Christopher Columbus
Country of build:
Laid down:
Commissioned (service):

Ship measurements

6,494 t
146.7 m
18.6 m
7.8 m


Propulsion system:
  • 2 * General Electric LM2500 gas turbines
  • 2 * Caterpillar 3600 diesel engines
  • 2 * Propellers
28.5 knots
4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)



Combat assets

  • Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D 3-D multifunction radar
  • Raytheon SPS-67(V)4 surface search radar
  • Raytheon DE1160 LF active and passive sonar
  • Thales Scout navigation radar
  • 2 * Raytheon SPG-62 Mk99 radar illuminator
  • Aegis combat system
  • 4 * FMC SRBOC Mk36 flare launchers
  • SLQ-25A Enhanced Nixie torpedo countermeasures
  • Indra SLQ-380 EW suite
  • CESELSA Elnath Mk 9000 interceptor
  • 1 * 5-inch/54 Mk45 Mod 2 gun
  • 2 * CIWS FABA 20mm/120 Meroka system
  • 1 * 48 cell Mk 41 vertical launch systems
  • SAM 32 * Standard SM-2MR Block IIIA
  • SAM 64 * RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile
  • SSM 8 * McDonnell Douglas RGM-84 Harpoon anti-shipping missile
  • ASW 4 * 324 mm Mk32 Mod 9 triple torpedo launchers with 12 Honeywell Mk46 mod 5 torpedo
  • 2 * Mk 38
  • 1 * SH-60 Seahawk or NH-90

Cristóbal Colón is the fifth and last ship of the Álvaro de Bazán-class of air defence frigates entering service with the Spanish Navy. The ship is named after Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer that discovered America in the name of the Crown of Castile. It is the most modern ship of the Spanish Navy.

Cristóbal Colón frigate was ordered on May 20, 2005 and its building started in Ferrol shipyards on June 29, 2007. The ship was launched on November 4, 2010 and commissioned on October 23, 2012. The frigate was sponsored by the Infanta Margarita of Bourbon.

On February 9, 2013, it sailed from its base in Ferrol, in its first navigation out of the Galician waters to set sail for the naval base of Rota, where it arrived on February 11, starting from that moment a process of inspection, certification and naval training that ended on the February 15. On February 14, a Sikorsky SH-3 made the first point on its flight deck. On February 24, 2014, she sailed from her base in Ferrol to join the Atalanta anti-piracy operation in the Indian waters.

After releasing Álvaro de Bazán in Djibouti, and while she was in the port of this African city, on March 16, 2014, an accidental firing of the 127-mm cannon occurred, whose projectile fell to the sea after flying over a hotel and a mosque; an incident that forced the Spanish diplomatic authorities to apologize.

On June 26 and 27, 2014, the frigate escorted the cruiser USS Vella Gulf against conventional aerial threat in its passage through the Mediterranean, as the US Navy was configuring a combat system to intercept ballistic targets outside the Earth's atmosphere.

On July 11, 2014 she returned to her base in Ferrol and took advantage of her arrival, and the other four ships of the class were at her base in Ferrol, so that for the first time, the five frigates of the class made a joint training exercises as part of the 31st Escorted Squadron of which they are part.

In mid-July 2016, ESPN Cristóbal Colón certified her combat system in Norfolk, US. with the American destroyer USS Arleigh Burke, after which she made a stopover in Halifax, Canada to support Navantia's commercial options in a contest for the construction of fifteen frigates. The ship arrived at her base in Ferrol on August 2, 2016.

On January 9, 2017, F105 sailed from her base in Ferrol to Australia where she plans to stay until June 2017 to train the crews of Hobart class ships based on this vessel, as well as support the options of Navantia in a new competition for the construction of nine frigates. A stopover is planned in Saudi Arabia on 20 and 21 January in support of a possible contract for the sale of five corvettes to that country. On 20 and 21 January 2017, a stopover took place in the Saudi port of Yeda, where the ship received a delegation from the Saudi Navy. On February 20, 2017, Cristóbal Colón frigate arrives in Australia.

On June 24, 2017, the frigate finished its deployment in Australia and began its return to base. It will arrive at its base in August stopping earlier in Papeete, French Polynesia and Callao, Peru. The ship participated in the exercise Unitas 2017 between July 13 and 26.

The design of the Cristóbal Colón contemplates several improvements with respect to the original design of the class. It incorporates new Bravo 16V engines that increase its maximum speed and a bow thruster of 850 kW for operations in port. In weaponry and combat systems, two 25mm Mk 38 guns are added for close defense, a new electronic and submarine warfare control system, Aries surface surveillance radar, SPY-1 radar improvements, and improvements in communications and control systems. F105 can also operate with NH 90 helicopters by expanding the hangar and flight deck.

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