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Spanish PM cuts steel of 2nd F-110 class smart frigate Roger de Lauria.

| 2023

According to a PR published by Navantia on December 19, 2023, the firm has commenced the construction of the second F-110 class frigate for the Spanish Navy, marking a significant acceleration of the 4.325 billion euro program.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez during the steel-cutting ceremony of the second F-100 class frigate Roger de Lauria. (Picture source: Navantia)

The first steel cut for the F-112 took place on December 16, at Navantia's shipyard in Ferrol, witnessed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Fourth Vice President and Minister of Finance María Jesús Montero, SEPI President Belén Gualda, and Navantia President Ricardo Domínguez.

This program, which was initiated in 2019, involves the construction of five frigates. The F-112 production started four months ahead of schedule, owing to the advanced maturity of its design and engineering progress. The first of the series, F-111, under construction since 2022, is also ahead of schedule with 24 out of 33 blocks in various stages of construction and assembly, surpassing the planned 18 blocks at this stage.

Regarding procurement, 98% of the program’s equipment has been acquired, with material procurement reaching 95% for F-111 and 70% for F-112. The Spanish Navy's F-110 frigates are versatile escort ships with anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine capabilities, ensuring force protection and naval projection. These ships, designed to operate in conjunction with other units, are versatile platforms capable of performing various maritime security functions.

The design of the new frigates includes advanced technological features like an integrated mast with various sensor and antenna solutions, a multi-mission space enhancing the ship's capabilities across all defense segments, and a new, more efficient and quieter hybrid propulsion plant. The frigates will be equipped with SCOMBA, a combat system developed by Navantia Sistemas.

The F-110 program is a key driver of Navantia's Digital Transformation Plan in Ferrol, including the launch of a new digital ecosystem to modernize production centers. A significant part of this is the construction of a new 110 million euro digital block factory in Ferrol, the largest investment in a Spanish shipyard this century.

This fully digitalized, automated, and robotized plant, featuring advanced technology machinery, will ensure product optimization, versatility, and reduced delivery times. It will replace traditional welding processes with hybrid laser technology, substantially enhancing performance and minimizing distortions.

The F-110 frigate will be a smart ship, the first Spanish naval program designed with a Digital Twin: a virtual replica of the ship that continuously receives data from a network of sensors distributed throughout the ship. This cyber-physical system uses behavior models, cloud computing, machine learning, and IoT to support maintenance and operations from thousands of kilometers away. The Digital Twin is complemented by an Integrated Services System (SSI), developed by Navantia with the Universities of Vigo and Coruña, which will reduce wiring by integrating sensors into light points. The F-110 will also feature onboard 3D printers for manufacturing spare parts.

These will be the first fleet ships with an integrated cybersecurity system to protect against growing cyber threats, allowing reduced crew sizes for operation and improved living conditions.

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