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Navantia launches fourth maritime action ship for Spanish Navy


The new multi-mission vessel Tornado P-44. A Navantia photo

MADRID (BNS): Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has launched the fourth maritime action ship Tornado P-44 for the Spanish Navy last week.

The new offshore patrol vessel was launched on March 21 in the presence of Spanish Defence Minister Carmen Chacón and other officials.

The ship is the fourth of an initial series of four Buque de Acción Maritima (BAM) class multi-mission vessels Navantia is building for the Spanish Navy under a 2006 contract.

Tornado is expected to be delivered to the Navy by the middle of 2012, Navantia said.

The maritime action ship has been designed to carry out military missions against asymmetric or conventional threats by means of presence (deterrence), surveillance (prevention) and limited actions (neutralisation), according to the Spanish Navy.

With a length of 94 meters and water displacement of 2,500 tons, the new ships can cruise at a maximum speed of 20.5 knots (10.54 m/s).

The new vessels 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.

They will replace the ‘Barceló’, ‘Anaga’, ‘Conejera’, ‘Toralla’ and ‘Descubierta’ class patrol boats in the Spanish Navy.

The Navy plans to induct five more BAMs in its fleet in future.

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