Santa María-class frigate

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SPS Santa María (F81)
SPS Santa María (F81)
Class overview
Name: Santa María class
Builders: Bazan, Ferrol, Spain
Operators:  Spanish Navy
Preceded by: Baleares class
Succeeded by: Álvaro de Bazán class
Completed: 6
Active: 6
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile frigate
Displacement: 2851 ton, 3610 ton standard
Length: 138.8 m (455 ft 5 in)
Beam: 14.3 m (46 ft 11 in)
Draught: 8.6 m (28 ft 3 in)
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar: AN/SPS-49(V)4 2-D air search ((V)5 in F-85 & F-86), RAN-12L (being replaced by RAN-30) 2-D low horizon air search radar for Meroka, SPS-55 surface search radar, Mk 92 fire control system,
  • Sonar: SQS-56, SQR-19(V) Towed Array (-19(V)2 in F-85 & F-86),
  • Fire Control: Mk 13 weapons control, Mk 92 and SPG-60 STIR missile control, SQQ-89 ASW
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Nettunel (F-85 & F-86: Mk-3000) intercept, SLQ-25 Nixie, Mk36 SROC decoy launchers
Aircraft carried: one or two SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III

The Santa María class of frigates is the Spanish Navy's designation for six locally built warships based on the United States Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates.

Built in two batches, the second batch units (F-85 and 86) received some improvements, such as an improved combat-data system, updated SPS-49 and SQR-19 sets, and a new Meroka mount. The Mk92 Mod 6 CORT replaced the previous Mod 4, providing better capabilities against sea-skimming missiles. The electronic warfare 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 Phalanx 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.

Units of class[edit]

All are homeported in Rota, Spain.

External links[edit]