The new F-100 frigate, fitted with the U.S. Aegis antiair combat system, gives Spain the only European antiballistic missile capability and could lead to a much larger role on the global stage.
Until recently, the fact that the Spanish F-100 frigate program would provide the government with strategic naval tools was not widely known—and perhaps even hidden, given the population's animosity toward defense-related issues. In recent months, however, the frigates have been pushed into the limelight as Spain's contribution to a potential antiballistic missile shield. What makes the story of the F-100's strategic capabilities unique is these were not top-level requirements. They were built in by the Armada as the program evolved.