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Thread: Spain orders 4 BAM "Frigates" and 5th F100 Aegis Frigate!

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    Spain orders 4 BAM "Frigates" and 5th F100 Aegis Frigate!

    Quote Originally Posted by defenseindustrydaily
    Spain Ordering 5 Frigates for Over EUR 1.1 Bn
    Posted 30-May-2006 12:44
    Related stories: Contracts - Intent, Europe - Other, New Systems Tech, Other Corporation, Power Projection, Surface Ships - Combat
    Also on this day: 30-May-2006 »

    Defense-Aerospace translates a Spanish Ministry of Defence release noting that have launched the contractual process for the procurement of Spain's fifth F100 Alvaro de Bazan Class AEGIS frigate, and of four new light Buques de Accion Maritima (BAM) project frigates whose total cost is estimated at EUR 1.1 billion ($1.4 billion at current conversion).

    The BAM program is intended to replace Spain's light patrol vessels, which have limited use outside the inshore littoral zone and are nearing the end of their operational life. The roles that are planned for the new BAM ships reportedly include naval presence and control, minor protection roles for merchant shipping and small naval units (which seems to imply a potential anti-piracy role), special forces pick-up and delivery, fisheries and environmental roles, surveillance, and search-and-rescue. The translated release notes that:

    "The BAM ships will be 94 meters long, displace about 2,500 tonnes, have a helicopter landing pad, and will be capable of attaining a maximum speed of 20 knots. Crewed by 40 officers and ratings, they will have a range of 8,000 nautical miles and will carry enough supplies for missions of up to 40 days at sea."
    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...11-bn/index.ph
    Last edited by TinWing; 14th July 2007 at 21:53.

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    It appears that the BAM "frigates" have completely different dimensions and performance specifications than the Venezuelan ordered Economic Area Vessels - despite being very close in overall size and role?

    Quote Originally Posted by Navantia

    Economic Area Vessels:

    Length: 96.60 m.

    Width: 13.60 m.

    Depth: 7.20 m.

    Displacment: 2,300 t.

    Speed: 24 knots

    Autonomy: 3,500 miles

    Crew: 60 + 32

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    The BAM frigates would be classed as large OPV's or Coastguard cutters in other navies, not to under play the importance of such vessels as they do a very important job, but they'tr not really frigates. The additional F100 is a big investment though.

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    BAM wouldn’t be classed like frigates in Spanish Navy but patrol ships. In fact they wouldn’t be included in the Fleet Command but in the Maritime Action Command (a sort of “Coast Guard” into the Navy). They will replace a lot of smaller patrol vessels.
    4 are ordered now but the plan is building at least 10 ships for patrol duties and another 4 for other mission (AGI, Oceanographic).
    This is a link to the BAM´s site:
    BAM

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    hmm, guess the helicopter has actually made ships slow nowadays. Lots of merchant ships are faster than this one! and a helicopter has quite limited endurance and person capacity... If there was one of these large container vessels highjacked, a ship like this wouldn't suffice to get it back without doing to much harm and taking lots of risks!
    They do look nice though, make some nice fishery patrol boats and good for the diversified Canary island flotilla.

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    Neptune: they may be able to outrun the ship, but its helo will probably catch up... :diablo:

    I suspect that if terrorists hijacked a container ship, you probably would not want a patrol vessels boarding party to try and take them on! I would probably figure on sending in spec ops (for Spain, I think its GEO - 'Grupo Especiale Para Los Operaciones', though I may be wrong).

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    That is actually what I mean Ed, do you think a helicopter party (including Spec Ops) is enough to stop a bunch of highjackers? I seriously doubt so.
    So against piracy, or its worst form, terrorism, these ships have little to do.
    But as mentioned, there are more tasks for her to serve.

    (and yes we have even had practices with Special Forces for such boardings and they failed quite miserably the first time, didn't even get onboard). Only after a second run and a fair bit of help did they succeed in their task. It's not that easy really. There is also the chance that they just blow up the ship from the moment the first special forces guy sets foot on it. Quite a nasty thing if you aren't prepared for that and if that ship happens to be an LPG carrier... Same counts for container vessels as they often have nasty stuff onboard too (although that is normally seperated according to IMDG code which would normally exclude serious accidents/fires/explosions). Which is also a reason why you shouldn't use the 76mm against most merchies.

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    You ever seen the Steven Seagal movies? :diablo:

    I think the only 'trick' that works is to actually train with the genuine ships, I remember reading that the UK SOF guys practice boarding commercial vessels (or used to, not sure if they still do). I suppose the only real option for these vessels would be to keep track of a hijacked ship - not much else you can do. Though a well placed shell into the rudder might work, if you use the new rounds by Oto Melara, though I would probably not try it, especially with an LNG/LPG carrier as you say!

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    The UK SBS and Police tactical units do joint training ops on merchant vessels involving helicopters and fast raiders, usually any larger vessels stay over the horizon.

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    Thanks Turbinia, I had a feeling it still went on, though you can never tell these days!

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    Quote Originally Posted by santi
    4 are ordered now but the plan is building at least 10 ships for patrol duties and another 4 for other mission (AGI, Oceanographic).
    In light of the planned oceanographic/survey tasked variants, the slow 20.5kt top speed and unusual CODOE propulsion plant seem to make sense.

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    Post 911 most western countries have armed units that train on real ships for storming and searching.

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    I suspect the reason for them being "slow" is not really related to having a helicopter and rather lies in the fact that they are more task orientated than say frigates and also serve as a common hull for survey, intell etc versions following in future. Thus they are after economy and range rather than sprint speed which would require a heavier, more expensive and complex propulsion layout with more powerful diesels or a marine gas turbine added.

    BTW, the EUR1.1 billion is probably split 700m/400m for F-100 and 4x BAM, which shows what level of systems this involves.

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    Ed, that was what I actually said about being in the exercise. That practice was with a different Spec Forces, but they always seem to underestimate the 14-20m freeboard of some merchant vessels. They just ask (and probably pay) to keep a vessel sailing around for two days in one specific area, during that time they do their practices.
    100mlln a piece for the BAM is quite expensive though, you can get a second hand M-class frigate for that price... On the other hand it is really aimed at his task as Pred said, will be more economic and cost-efficient in the end.

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    I agree, though I suspect that one M-class would probably cost as much to run and crew as the four BAMs! It would be interesting to see how these vessels compare to the Baynunah class of the UAE, they seem to be pretty well equipped, at were reported at about $80m per unit (though unit costs on ships are a little hard to compare, since they can include different things, like weapons, training, and, given the current oil price, just filling the fuel tanks would probably double the price!)

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    The Baynunah corvettes are about 600 tons, have substantial armaments and are more a grown up fast attack craft for use in Gulf area. Seakeeping, endurance etc would differ substantially compared to BAM. Cost is probably more as well, $130m+ per unit and up. Although still quite a big gap in displacement (and usable volume...) the MEKO 100 RMN patrol vessels/corvettes are probably more interesting comparison and can be retrofitted with RAM, Exocet and the like later. I do not see provision for such in the BAM sketches.

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    I apologise, I had seen the pictures (of the Baynunah), but not the displacement, though they are still fully equipped with a helicopter deck and hangar facilities, and look like quite well balanced ships, though quite small. I agree, the Meko 100 types probably do make a better comparison, any information on the price of those?

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    These vessels seem pretty similar in concept and intended utilisation to the new Falklands patrol vessel, a growth derivative of the River class OPV with a heli deck intended for Coastguard type duties, fisheries protection, assisting SAR ops, Policing/security duties etc., not a front line warship. As such it seems a well found design, speed is less important than good sea keeping qualities in the area's these vessels will operate in and armament really isn't that important, for the roles they will perform a light cannon is more than adequate, even the 30mm callibre preferred by the RN with small arms is quite adequate. To me it really does seem that these types of vessel are ideal, well enough equipped for the job but pretty economical to buy and operate with new fancy extra's that are basically a waste of money to look good on paper, to me they're far more sensible designs than most of the high cost corvette type vessels becoming popular which cost an awful lot more and will be used for similar duties.

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    Does anyone know how well the OPV(H)s cope with the weather around the Falklands? It can certainly get rough down there!

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    A bit lively for sure, but the Castle boats seem to have coped OK, and really it's no worse than the North Sea or Biscay, I spent a lot of time offshore in the North Sea and some of our supply boats, anchor handlers etc. looked to be doing eskimo rolls in winter they were rolling and pitching that heavily

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    The French Floreal-class would appear to be a very close counterpart to the BAM in concept, IMHO.

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    Yes, Floreal are ships very close to the BAM concept, at least in the patrol version.
    The idea with BAM is to use the same platform for a different roles with minor modifications, something similar to the Stanflex concept. The difference is that Stanflex can swing from one role to the other changing the "Stanflex modules", but BAM will born like a patrol ship, or like an AGI, or like a diver support ship, etc. and probably this will be his main role along his life.
    If the concept is succesful in 10-15 years a lot of Spanish navy ships will be BAMs, not included frigates, subs and the big ones (AOR, anphibs), of course.

    Regards

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    Most modern ship designs use modular architecture, even in those designs not part of a shared platform approach a lot of the machinery and outfit is based on standardised modules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neptune
    Ed, that was what I actually said about being in the exercise. That practice was with a different Spec Forces, but they always seem to underestimate the 14-20m freeboard of some merchant vessels. They just ask (and probably pay) to keep a vessel sailing around for two days in one specific area, during that time they do their practices.
    100mlln a piece for the BAM is quite expensive though, you can get a second hand M-class frigate for that price... On the other hand it is really aimed at his task as Pred said, will be more economic and cost-efficient in the end.
    Recently there was talk by the defense minister of the Netherlands about the option to retire a further 2 M-frigates but obtain 3-4 (large?) 'patrol vessels'. Considering the fact that Spain and The Netherlands have been working together in the area of ship design (F100/LCF/F124 Trilateral Frigate Agreement, Rotterdam/Galicia, Amsterdam/Patino), might these BAM ships be an option. Is there any information on this?

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    The trouble is that now 'patrol' can mean anything from an OPV of about 500-1000tons, all the way up to a 6000ton ship for patrol duties like the Absalon, and even into the lower end of the LPDs like New Zealands new multi-role vessel under Project Protector. Mind you, if you look at the new European 'frigates' which are larger than the older destroyers, it sort of explains this ambiguity!

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    That is indeed true, the Dutch have shown their concept of a patrol vessel in a Defence Paper and it looked BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD (and certainly when you consider that everyone expected the Sigma), it even had coast guard type of stripes on its hull. It's weaponry was some 30mm cannon and a helicopter, pretty silly... But on the other hand indeed like the BAM. Have to look for that drawing again, maybe it IS BAM! Don't remember correctly anymore except for those stripes (which I just noticed to be also on the drawing above) and the silly weapons.
    Now, retiring another 2M classes will give them something like 200+million, not enough for 3 or 4 BAM... Of course if they have saved some from the other M-class sales, they might get enough money.
    On the other hand, what is the Cost of the Sigma class? Any idea on the price of the Sigma sale to Indonesia?
    Of course crew and maintenance would be much smaller than the M-classes, which they could use as an argument too.

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    Did you not realise, those are not Coast Guard type stripes, they are go-faster stripes! :diablo:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neptune
    That is indeed true, the Dutch have shown their concept of a patrol vessel in a Defence Paper and it looked BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD (and certainly when you consider that everyone expected the Sigma), it even had coast guard type of stripes on its hull. It's weaponry was some 30mm cannon and a helicopter, pretty silly... But on the other hand indeed like the BAM. Have to look for that drawing again, maybe it IS BAM! Don't remember correctly anymore except for those stripes (which I just noticed to be also on the drawing above) and the silly weapons.
    Now, retiring another 2M classes will give them something like 200+million, not enough for 3 or 4 BAM... Of course if they have saved some from the other M-class sales, they might get enough money.
    On the other hand, what is the Cost of the Sigma class? Any idea on the price of the Sigma sale to Indonesia?
    Of course crew and maintenance would be much smaller than the M-classes, which they could use as an argument too.
    If you find that drawing, please scan and post!

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    Thanks E, that's the one I mean. Looks slightly bigger though.

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    Interesting. Not very pretty though. But must be a sizeable ship, if those gun mounts are what I think they are (127mm Oto Melara, as used on LCF)

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