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Baleares-class frigate
Spanish frigate Baleares (F-71).jpg
Spanish Frigate Baleares (F-71) during exercise Ocean Venture 1981
Class overview
Builders: Navantia, Ferrol, Spain
Operators: Spanish Navy
Succeeded by: Oliver Hazard Perry class
Built: 1969-1976
In commission: 1974 -2008
Completed: 5
Retired: 5
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 3015 tons (standard), 4177 tons (full load)
Length: 438 ft (134 m)
Beam: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
Draught: 24 ft 9 in (7.54 m)
Propulsion: 1 shaft, one Westinghouse steam turbine, 2 V2M boilers. total 35,000 shp (maximum),
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h)
Complement: 256
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-52B Air Search Radar
RAN-12L/X Air Search Radar
AN/SPS-10F Surface Search Radar
DE1160LF Sonar
AN/SQS-35(v)Variable Depth Sonar system
AN/SPG-53 Mk68 Gun Fire Control System
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Ceselsa Deneb/Canopus, Mk36 SROC decoy launchers
Armament: one Mk-16 8 cell missile launcher for ASROC and Harpoon missiles
one Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun
Mark 46 torpedoes from four single tube launchers)
2x quad Mk141 launchers for Harpoon missiles. 1 Standard SAM launcher (16 Missiles). 2 20mm Meroka CIWS gun systems.
Aircraft carried: none

The Baleares class are a group of five frigates built for the Spanish navy in the 1970s. The ships are a modified version of the American Knox class frigates. The key differences are the replacement of the Sea Sparrow PDMS and ASW helicopter facilities by Standard SAM and associated radars. They received a SPS-52B 3D search radar and one SPG-51 illuminator for the Standard SM-1 medium range SAM, fired from a Mk22 16-round single arm launcher. The SQS-26 long range LF sonar was replaced by a SQS-23G MF sonar, while two Mk25 tubes for Mk37 torpedoes were mounted in the transom. The SQS-35 variable depth sonar was maintained.

The five ships were upgraded several times during their service lives. They received a Spanish TRITAN combat data system and the EW suite was upgraded with Spanish equipment. Mk36 SROC decoy launchers were also added, as well as two quadruple Harpoon launchers amidships. Two Meroka CIWS gun system were also fitted. The old SQS-23G sonar was replaced by a modern DE-1160LF set built in Spain (a larger, lower frequency version of the SQS-56 sonar) and the Mk25 tubes were removed to allow for female crewmember berthing.

The ships have recently been retired, in order to assume the costs of the F100 frigates (the Álvaro de Bazán class), which will replace the Baleares class on a one to one basis.

Ships in class

All ships were built in Ferrol. They made up the 31 Escort Squadron, based in Ferrol. The Spanish Navy adopted the Standard SAM, what gave the class an excellent anti-air (A/A) capacity, which the American Knox class lacked.

Ship Launched Commissioned Status
F72 Andalucia 30 March 1971 23 May 1974 Decommissioned 2005
F74 Asturias 13 March 1972 2 December 1975 Decommissioned 30 June 2009
F71 Baleares 20 August 1970 24 September 1973 Decommissioned 2004
F73 Cataluna 3 November 1971 16 January 1975 Decommissioned 2004
F75 Extremadura 21 November 1972 10 November 1976 Decommissioned 2006


  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947 -1995

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