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Coat of Arms B.A.A. "Castilla" (L-52)
Coat of Arms B.A.A. "Castilla" (L-52)
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Coat of Arms B.A.A. "Castilla" (L-52)
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Silhouette of the 'Galicia'-Class Amphibious Ship
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Landing Platform Dock "Castilla"
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Landing Platform Dock "Castilla"

The Commanding Officer of the "Castilla" welcomes you, and invites you to visit the web page of the Fleet Projection Group with home port at Rota Naval Base. This "Galicia"-class ship can operate as an amphibious ship and as a NATO command platform for the Maritime High Readiness Headquarters.

Displacement: 13.000 tons.

Length: 160 mts.

Beam: 25 mts.


  • 2 plants with 2 Diesel Carterpillar-BAZAN engines (22,000HP) and an electric engine (1,500 HP), all of them coupled to a reduction gear.
  • 2 variable pitch propellers (5 blades and 4 m. diameter).
  • 1 fore propeller (1,800 HP) for transversal thrust.

Electric plant: 7-MW electric plant with 4 diesel generators of 1,520 Kw and an emergency 715 Kw generator.


  • Hangar for 4 heavy or 6 medium size helicopters.
  • Day and night operations; contact and instrument flight; VERTREP and HIFR, GSI and artificial horizon.

Crew: 185 people. 615 transported.


  • Two 20 mm OERLIKON machineguns (possibility of 4).
  • 6 SRBOC Mk3 Chaff Launchers.


  • Surface and Navigational radar KH 1007 (F band).
  • Helicopter control radar KH-1007 (F band).
  • Navigational radar LPI PILOT Mk 2 MOD 7 (I band).
  • IFF AN/TPX-54 (V) Mk-XII (mode 4).
  • ESM communications system REGULUS Mk-9500.


  • 4 LCM1-E landing craft.
  • Helicopters: 6 AB-212 or 4 SH-3D.
  • Vehicles: 90-170 depending on type in 1,010 m2 in parking area (170 M-113; 130 Pizarro or 33 M-60A3).
  • Materiel and ammunition: 700 tons.
  • 4 cargo lifts.
  • 3 ramps.
  • 2 cranes (25 and 2.5 tons).
  • A total of 3,500 m2 of cargo areas including storerooms, flight deck and hangar.

The ship can transport troops and vehicles; operate amphibious craft in her dock and helicopters on her flight deck. Her main mission is to carry out amphibious operations; among them, peace-keeping and humanitarian aid operations with medical and surgical support.

The Command and Control capability of the LPD "Castilla" was enhanced to serve as NATO Command Ship for Maritime Operations. She is the regular command platform of the SP HRF (M) HQ (Spanish Maritime High Readiness Headquarters).

Her home port is Rota Naval Base (Cadiz); the largest Spanish Navy base located between the towns of Rota and Puerto de Santa María.

The ship embarks Marine Corps vehicles when deployed in amphibious operations or exercises. The vehicles can embark in the well deck thanks to the LCM landing craft belonging to the Beach Naval Group.

The ship, as opposed to a frigate, does not have missiles, but has self-defence weapons to repel unexpected attacks at sea. Namely, two 20 mm mountings; 4 Browning machineguns and 2 MG machineguns, as well as portable weapons such as HK rifles, guns, etc.

The LPD "Castilla" (L-52) is the second of the "Galicia" class built at Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, commencing in May 1997. She was launched in June 1999 and delivered to the Spanish Navy on June 26th 2000, substituting the old transport ship "Aragón" (L-22).

This ship is the 12th unit with that name in the Spanish Navy. Other ships were:

  • A small vessel from the Royal Armada in Flanders (1628)
  • A 12-gun corvette (1728)
  • A 62-gun warship built in Guarnizo in 1729-30. Decommissioned in 1736.
  • A 60-gun warship built in Havana in 1737. She sank near Veracruz in 1751 during a storm.
  • A 64-gun warship built in Ferrol in 1751, also sinking in Veracruz in 1768, although other sources say she was decommissioned in 1771.
  • A 64-gun warship built in Ferrol in 1780. She run aground in Cadiz during a storm and was burnt by French troops in 1810. She was the last sailing ship with this name.
  • "Queen of Castile" was the first steam ship with the name of "Castilla". Built by Ditchburn & Mare in London in 1846 with a 160 HP engine and assigned to hydro-graphic tasks.
  • A ship bought in Mexico in 1846 (ex-Moctezuma) but built in London by Green & Wigram in 1842. She was the first steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean from West to East (1848).
  • A first-class cruiser built in La Carraca in 1881. The ship displaced 3,342 tons with a 1,100 HP engine reaching 15.9 knots and mounting four 150 mm guns. She took part in the battle of Cavite where she sank (May 1st 1898).
  • Ex-USS "Achernar" (AKA-53) built in 1943-44 in New Jersey by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Delivered to the U.S. Navy in January 1944. 14,200 tons and a speed of 16.5 knots. Transferred to the Spanish Navy in February 1965 with number TA-21. Scrapped in 1982.
  • Ex-USS "Paul Revere" (LPA 248). Attack transport ship built in New York in 1952-53. Delivered to the U.S. Navy in September 1958. 16,828 tons and a speed of 20 knots. Transferred to the Spanish Navy in January 1980 until her decommissioning in June 1998.

The "Castilla" crew consists of 190 men and women: 18 officers, 28 NCOs and 144 seamen and ratings. All these people were trained in different naval schools such as the Naval Academy in Ferrol, the NCO Academy in San Fernando and the "Antonio Escaño" School in Ferrol, although many of them finished their training some time ago and have been serving in naval units for years

Amphibious operations are the most complex naval warfare endeavors and require intense training and coordination of all the elements involved. To this end, and in order to keep all the equipment and sys-tems fully operational, an intensive training and instruction program is carried out on a daily basis, both at sea and ashore.

Worth mentioning are the activities conducted at sea, among them the amphibious training exercises ‘ADELFIBEX’ and ‘MARFIBEX’, preparation exercises for command platforms of the Maritime Head-quarters like ‘LOYAL MARINER’ and ‘NOBLE MARINER’ and the advanced training exercises like ‘GRUFLEX’ and ‘FLOTEX’.

The main missions of the "Castilla" have been: the "Romeo Sierra" operation in Perejil Island on July 17th 2002; cleaning of fuel in the aftermath of the sinking of the "Prestige" oiler in Galicia (January-February 2003); transport of Spanish Legion materiel to Ash Shuahyabah (UAE) in the "IF" operation (July-September 2003); humanitarian aid operation in Haiti as part of "Mar Caribe" operation (October-December 2004).

The ship has participated three times in Operation ‘Atalanta’ (2012, 2018 and 2021) fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia and protecting World Food Program (WFP) and AMISOM (African Mission in Somalia) vessels. This operation is also intended to provide security to shipping in the Indian Ocean, especially to the Spanish fishing trawlers working in that part of the world.


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