MADRID, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A program to procure a new class of frigates has received approval from the Spanish government following requirement and concept studies.
Defense News, citing military sources, reports the six new ships will be known as F-110 vessels and will replace Santa Maria-class frigates which have been in service since 1986.
State-owned shipbuilder Navantia conducted a feasibility study in 2014 and created an initial ship design. The Spanish Navy has moved on to the project definition phase with an initial research and design contract worth €135.3 million (about $149.6 million) to develop the vessel through 2020.
"A detailed design-and-build contract is then expected to follow in early 2016 with delivery of the first vessel planned for 2022."
The new ships will incorporate asymmetric warfare capabilities. They will be equipped with the Scomba combat system, and will feature an integrated mast, containing al communications, radar and other electronic equipment.