Pictured is a model of Spain’s new F100-class guided missile “frigate,” the first unit of which is to be delivered in 2001. Spain, with the Netherlands and Germany, formed a consortium early in 1994 to develop systems for a new generation of otherwise disparate frigate classes, including the K124 for Germany and the Dutch LCF. In June 1995, however, Spain decided to go with a more proven combat system and selected the Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1I) over its consortium partners’ APAR air-defense radar. Spain thus will become the third Aegis navy, and the 6,000-ton F100 will be one-third smaller than the U.S. Ticonderoga (CG-47) and Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) classes and the Japanese Kongo-class Aegis ships. The 48-cell Mk 41 vertical launch group forward on the F100 is to carry Standard SM-2 Block I1IA and RIM-7PTC Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, the latter in quadruple packs. Other combat systems on the 29-knot FI00 will include eight Harpoon missiles, a 76-mm dual-purpose gun, a Meroka 12-barrclled close-defense gun system, two 20-mnt guns, four antisubmarine torpedo tubes, and a Seahawk helicopter.
Launched on 15 March and seen here at Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Pascagoula, Mississippi, yard before her christening on 18 May by Mrs. Carl E. Mundy, wife of the former commandant of the Marine Corps, is the Bataan (LHD-5). The keel for the sixth ship of the Wasp (LHD-1) class, the Bonhomme Richard, was laid on 18 April 1995, and Ingalls received a contract to construct the as-yet unnamed LHD-7 in December 1995. The 40,532-ton ships each are intended to deploy a 2,000- strong Marine expeditionary unit. The Bataan, scheduled to be delivered in July 1997, is the second ship to commemorate the heroic defense of the Bataan Peninsula by U.S. and Philippine forces in the opening months of World War II. U.S. naval shipbuilders are now vying for the winner-take-all contract to be awarded in September to build the next amphibious warfare program, the planned dozen ships of the 25,300-ton LPD-17 class.
Norway’s 375-ton rigid-sidewall surface-effect ship Alta was commissioned in January as the first of five minesweeper Variants of the Oksey minehunter class. The Alta and her sisters will be able to low the Agate high-speed acoustic array with air-gun and transducer noisemakers, Plus the Elma magnetic sweep array and wire sweeps, while the Oksoys carry two Gayrobot Pluto Plus-41 remotely controlled mine location submersibles and deploy mine clearance divers. Both variants have sonar transducers mounted on struts between their twin hulls: Simrad’s SA-950 mine avoidance set on the Altas and Thomson-Marconi's TSM-2023N minehunting set on the Okseys.