The purpose of the ocean-going Maritime Action Ship (BAM) is to replace the different and heterogeneous types of patrol ships which are near the end of their life cycle, for a Maritime Action Force designed around a reliable and highly automated platform with low maintenance costs, reduced crew, and enhanced endurance.
The ocean-going ships, 94 m. long and a displacement of 2,500 tons will replace the “Barceló”, “Anaga”, “Conejera”, “Toralla” and “Descubierta” class patrol boats. The missions include patrolling, EEZ protection and interventions support in third countries. They will be armed with light weapons and have rescue equipment to assist in catastrophes with medical facilities, cargo transport, means to fight sea pollution and a helicopter platform. The ship will be built with civilian standards except for some specific military characteristics.
The design of the BAM platform has taken into account other Navy needs within the maritime action sphere. The Project Definition of the BAM has borne in mind the inherent peculiarities of the design, as well as possible future requirements such as non oceanic versions: Hydro-graphic research, Intelligence, divers support, and submarine rescue.
Special emphasis has been laid on the design and stabilization of the platform in order to improve her performance at sea, permitting prolonged operations without excessive fatigue for the crew.
From the very beginning of the project, aspects related to personnel safety were also taken into account so as to reduce the possible risks during the different operations.
It is worth underlining the small crew: 35 people. This implies a high automation level, compatible with existing technology, incorporating maintenance and logistic criteria congruent with reduced crews and the safety and reliable performance of the ship. In this sense, the ship will have a state-of-the-art Platform Control Integrated System, and a Maintenance System based on Sea State.
The design and shipbuilding will basically be based on commercial standards favouring safety and ship survivability, especially in areas related to the hull and propulsion system, electricity and auxiliary services. Special care will be taken in the asymmetric threat.
One of the main objectives is to reach a high level of accommodation and quality of life onboard incorporating modern designs to enhance comfort, environmental control, ergonomics, etc.
The ship will follow the philosophy of a “Green Ship” to meet all environmental requirements and fight against sea pollution, compatible with the fulfilment of the mission.
Given the wide variety of possible configurations depending of the mission assigned, the design will be modular to easily adapt the ship to the specific situation.
To sum up, the ocean-going Maritime Action Ship has been designed as a versatile platform to make better use of available resources reducing life cycle costs. The reduced crews and high habitability standards are important milestones in the procurement process of naval units and the modernisation of the Armed Forces.
Training Cruises on board the ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’ contribute to the nautical, military, social and human instruction of midshipmen from the Marin Naval Academy
The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ‘Vigía’ set sail from Puntales Naval Station (Cadiz) to conduct a series of activities in Africa as part of the Defense Diplomacy Plan and a follow-on of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative
The auxiliary oiler and replenishment ship (AOR) ‘Patiño’ is to integrate into the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2) for two months
F-100 frigate ‘Méndez Núñez’ left her home port in Ferrol (NW Spain) towards the Mediterranean Sea to integrate into the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2)
Frigate ‘Reina Sofía’ (F-84) set sail to integrate into the Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG-1) as part of this rapid reaction force deployed in Atlantic waters
The amphibious assault ship ‘Galicia’ set sail from Rota Naval Base to take part, as flagship, in the European Union counter-piracy Operation ‘Atalanta’ in the Indian Ocean
The main mission of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG-2) is to contribute to keep the Alliance’s ports and naval bases open to shipping.
Frigate ‘Canarias’ (F-86), departed Rota Naval Base to integrate into EUNAVFOR’s mission ‘SOPHIA’ to help stop human trafficking in the central Mediterranean Sea.
The purpose is to enhance the interoperability between the Spanish Navy and the RAN, and to provide training to the crews of the Spanish-designed ‘Hobart’-class anti-air destroyers on board the AEGIS-equipped frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’.
The oceanographic research ship ‘Hespérides’ has started the 22nd Antarctic Campaign in support of the Spanish science.