SingaporeThe keel of the F111 frigate was laid at Navantia’s shipyard in Ferrol (A Coruña), Spain on  Wednesday, 9 August 2023. Construction of the F111 began in April 2022 and is the first unit of a series of five new generation frigates designed for the Spanish Navy. This program milestone was witnessed by the Admiral Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy, Antonio Piñeiro, accompanied by Navantia’s president, Ricardo Domínguez and the Director of Frigates and Intervention Ships, Eduardo Dobarro.

The keel-laying involved the placement of block 311 in slipway 2 of Navantia’s Ferrol facilities. The rest of the ship will grow from this block. This ship is scheduled to be launched in 2025, with delivery to the Spanish Navy in 2028. Delivery of the rest of the ships will have a cadence of 12 months, until 2032, when the fifth unit will be delivered.

The F110 program is in its construction phase, with production progressing ahead of schedule. To date 18 of the 33 blocks that will make up the new F111 are in the manufacturing process, with a degree of maturity of the 3D model of detailed engineering of around 80 per cent and having achieved 99 per cent of the platform equipment for all ships in the series.

Navantia has activated an acceleration plan for the construction program, which was launched by fine-tuning the production systems with a pilot block and has materialised in the advance of this keel-laying. Production of the second unit, the F112, will begin before the end of the year.

“The F110 program is a vital project for the Navy, in the necessary replacement of the “Santa Maria” class frigates, while complementing the capacity of our F-100s as basic elements for the development of the rest of the Fleet’s capabilities,” says Admiral Piñeiro. “This transition has been possible thanks to the excellent collaborative relationship between the Navy and Navantia, which has endured through decades of joint work in a common interest in the pursuit of excellence in shipbuilding.”

“The F110 is a transformative lever for our entire industrial and technological ecosystem. If this shipyard in Ferrol is already a world reference in frigate construction, this program will place it at the technological and industrial vanguard, with the next construction of the digital block factory and the Digital Twin Center of Excellence”, said the president of Navantia, Ricardo Domínguez.

The F110 program will sustain around 9,000 jobs over a 10-year period, taking into account both direct and indirect employment and that induced by economic activity. Around 500 companies from all over Spain participate in it.

The F110 frigate program, whose execution order was signed in 2019, contemplates the construction of five units worth 4,325 million euros. These are multipurpose escort ships, with anti-aircraft, anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities and can operate in combination with other units. They are versatile vessels that can also perform functions related to maritime safety and support to civil authorities.

The F110 is a qualitative leap from the point of view of the capabilities of the Navy and the industrial and technological potential of Navantia and all its collaborating industry. It thus contributes to Spain’s strategic autonomy and to having a cutting-edge industrial and technological base, while opening up new export opportunities.

The program incorporates the Digital Twin, an innovative concept that will turn the Ferrol shipyard into an international reference in frigates. The Digital Twin, designed in close collaboration with the Spanish Navy and the General Directorate of Armament and Material (DGAM) of the Spanish Ministry of Defence, is a virtual replica of the ship that is fed back in useful time with information from the vessel the data permanently supplied by a network of sensors distributed throughout the ship, constituting a cyber-physical system that through the use of behavioural models and technologies such as Cloud Computing,  Machine Learning or the Internet of Things (IoT) allows to support its maintenance and operation even thousands of miles away through the Digital Twin deployed on the ground.


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