Spanish Aegis-equipped frigate tests missiles off US East Coast

Spanish Navy’s Aegis-equipped frigate Cristóbal Colón (F-105), the most modern Spanish warship, recently fired SM-2 and Evolved SeaSparrow missiles off the U.S. East Coast during a test attended by the Spanish Navy Chief and the Minister of Defense.

The ship is currently in the process of testing and certifying her combat system.

After a readiness period at sea, Ferrol, Spain and Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia, the F-105 successfully concluded a series of anti-missile defense exercises in the course of combat system ship qualification trials (CSSQT)

The main purpose of CSSQT is to assess and certify the ship’s combat system for Command and Control, Anti-Air Warfare and Anti-Missile Defense tasks.

The launching exercises were attended by the acting Minister of Defense Pedro Morenés and the Spanish Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Jaime Muñoz Delgado.

These trials took place in the Wallops Island range off the coast of Virginia along with the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51). Several sister ships of this U.S. Aegis-equipped destroyer are now stationed in Rota Naval Base as part of the US contribution to NATO’s missile defense shield.

The navy said this operational certification was a milestone not only for the Spanish Navy but for the whole Spanish naval industry involved in the design and construction of this warship.

The F-105 is the fifth of the AEGIS-equipped Spanish Navy frigates launched in 2010 and commissioned into active service in October 2012. Her crew consists of 201 sailors who perform humanitarian and peace-keeping missions in addition to conventional operations.