Spanish F-110 Frigate Program Passes Critical Design Phase

Spain’s F-110 frigate program has successfully passed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) carried out by local shipbuilder Navantia, the Spanish Ministry of Defense and the Spanish Navy.

The PDR was completed this week at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol. On the 19th and 20th two technical sessions were held in mixed modality (in person and virtual) and chaired by the head of the F-110 Program of the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM), Captain José Antonio Toro Fernández. On Friday 21st, the executive panel of the PDR took place, chaired by the Deputy Director General of Programs of the DGAM, Brigadier General León Antonio Machés Michavila and with the participation of Defense and Navy authorities.

“The Preliminary Design Review has confirmed the soundness of the design of this frigate, which will represent a technological leap in the capabilities of the Spanish Navy and in the digital transformation of Navantia. This important milestone of the program has been met according to the schedule we established in June 2020, thus demonstrating the commitment of all those involved in its development. The F-110 now has a mature design that will allow us to advance in the next stages so that the construction of the ships can begin as soon as possible,”



Navantia President, Ricardo Domínguez.

The PDR has been materialized through working groups formed by representatives of the Ministry of Defense and Navantia in which aspects such as cybersecurity, the integrated services system, the multi-mission space and the digital twin have been reviewed. The F-110s will be the first ships of the Navy to have this digital twin to optimize their management.

After this milestone, in which Navantia has poured a significant reinforcement of resources in recent months, the program will now begin the detailed engineering. The F-110 frigate is also strategic for Navantia. It involves more than 20 million working hours and is the lever for the digital transformation of the company and its industrial environment, as well as a key asset for its export capacity.

About F-110 Frigate

Navantia and the Spanish Ministry of Defense have signed the contract for the construction of five F-110 frigates for the Spanish Navy in April 2019.

F-110 frigates are set to replace the Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigates which have been in service for over 30 years. F-110 frigates will be fitted with the Aegis combat system integrating a new solid-state S-band radar by Indra. Lockheed Martin and Indra have been collaborating since 2009 to develop a state-of-the-art S-band solid state radar for Spain’s F-110 Frigate Program.

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Known as the Bonifaz-class, these frigates will feature:

  • A sonar suite by Thales (BlueMaster UMS 4110 and CAPTAS 4 Compact sonars, the TUUM-6 underwater communication system, and the BlueScan digital acoustic system)
  • The SCOMBA combat system by Navantia
  • The S-band variant of Lockheed Martin’s SPY-7 radar
  • Leonardo 127mm 127/64 LW main gun
  • Raytheon’s Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 missile
  • Rohde & Schwarz external communications systems
  • GMV’ SENDA navigation system
  • Propeller systems by Kongsberg Maritime

Indra systems aboard F-110

Indra leads the development within the F110 Program of some of several advanced sensors.  In addition to the tiles for the S-band radar, Indra is developing:

  • The 25X Prisma Radar: whose mission is surveillance of the surface and low-altitude aerial targets. 
  • The IFF System: which will identify allied from enemy aircraft and will have an integrated ADS-B surveillance system that will give support to air control in international missions. 
  • Electronic defence systems: which will track the communications band and the radar band. They will detect and identify any vessel, submarine or nearby aerial or land platform, allowing the ship to circumvent multiple threats simultaneously
  • IRST i110: which will provide protection capacity against sea-skimming missiles or swarms of vessels, which typically attempt to impact the waterline of ships. It is a system on which Indra is working in conjunction with 

Spanish Navy Ordered Five F-110 Frigates

Spain’s state-owned shipbuilder Navantia has won 4.3 billion euros (US $4.9 billion) contract to build five F-110 frigates for the country’s navy

In a statement by the ministry for regional affairs Thursday, it said the cabinet would on Friday give its green light for construction of the F-110 frigates in the industrial city of Ferrol in the northwestern region of Galicia dubbed Spain’s Detroit for its slow decline over the years.

The agreement “entails an investment of 4.325 billion euros ($4.9 billion) and the creation of 7,000 jobs,” the ministry quoted Javier Losada, the central government’s representative in Galicia, as saying.

“There will be direct and indirect added value of 5.4 billion euros (US $6.1 billion),” Losada was quoted as saying.

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