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Silueta del BAC 'Patiño'
Silueta del BAC 'Patiño'
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Silueta del BAC 'Patiño'
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Silhouette of the B.A.C. "Patiño"
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B.A.C. 'Patiño'
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B.A.C. "Patiño"
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B.A.C. "Patiño"

The Fleet Replenishment Ships “Patiño” and “Cantabria” and the fleet oiler “Marqués de la Ensenada” are the core of the Logistic Fleet of the Spanish Navy. They make up Group Number 1 of the Fleet Naval Action.

The “Patiño” was built in the middle of the 90’s by Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol. With more than 15 years of operation, she has successfully served the Spanish Navy. In that period the ship has undergone different improvements to upgrade and update her capabilities in harmony with the evolving nature of naval operations. A case in point is her participation as Command Ship in operation “Atalanta” against piracy in the Indian Ocean.

In the short term, a midlife overhaul is scheduled to fit new systems and substitute obsolete equipment.

Logistic Ship "Patiño" (A-14)
DISPLACEMENT 17.000 tons
LENGTH 166 meters
BEAM 22 meters .
PROPULSION 2 Diesel engines (10,890 HP each). Max speed. 21.3 knots and max sustained speed of 20 knots. Range: 6,000 nm at 13/14 knots.
AIRCRAFT Hangar for 2 heavy (SH-3D) or 3 light helicopters.
CREW 154
WEAPONS 6 SRBOC Mk-36 Chaff Launchers
Two 20 mm OERLIKON heavy machineguns
Four 12.7 mm BROWNING medium machineguns
Two MG-42 light machineguns
SENSORS 3 radars: Bands l (1) and f (2), one of them connected to the IFF transponder system.
ELNATH ESM system: a passive countermeasures system connected to 6 chaff and decoy launchers. ALDEBARAN ECM System.
Optronic Surveillance System (SVO) developed by TECNOBIT: a TV and FLIR surveillance system capable of tracking targets, video recording, sector search and laser measurement system.
KELVIN-HUGHES multifunction console tables.
MISCELLANEOUS Tank capacity: 10,000 cubic meters of liquids.
8.000 of F76
2.000 of F44
200 tons of fresh water.

As a combat replenishment ship and hospital, the main mission of the “Patiño” is to supply fuel, fresh water, ammunition, provisions, spare parts, military equipment, uniforms, medicines and medical assistance to other combat units at sea. The design of the ship, in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Navy, caters for the capability to supply a Combat Group made up by an aircraft-carrier, five frigates and twenty embarked aircraft during a sustained period of 21 days.

Apart from the aforementioned tasks, the ship has ample capabilities to operate as an escort, engaging in flight operations and maritime interdiction (maritime traffic control, visits, challenges and boarding of ships in anti-piracy missions).

In recent times, the habitability, communication systems and infrastructure have been adapted to be able to become an ad-hoc Command Ship for a Group Commander and his Staff. This new task was performed during Operation “Atalanta” in 2010/11 on occasion of the Spanish EUNAVFOR Command (November 2010 – January 2011).

Her home base is Ferrol (Corunna) and is usually berthed in Navantia Shipyards docks in the Ferrol Estuary.

The ship has a wide variety of assets for communications, command and control such as the ICCS 3 Integrated Communications System; HF, UHF and VHF radio bands and satellite communications SECOMSAT and INMARSAT B. For surveillance and identification the ship has a surface and navigational radar (F band) KH 1007; a helicopter control radar (F band) KH 1007; a navigational radar LPI PILOT Mk-2 MOD 7 (I band); IFF system AN/TPX-54 (V) Mk-XII; FLIR camera; AIS automatic identification system and an ALDEBARAN electromagnetic detection equipment and REGULUS radio-communications. There is also a closed TV circuit to monitor key external and internal areas.

For self-defence, the ship is equipped with 6 CHAFF launchers (SRBOC Mk-36); two 20 mm “Oerlikon” heavy machineguns; four 12.7 mm “Browning” medium machineguns and two MG-42 light machineguns.

The ship has 2 RHIB and 1 ZODIAC craft with the possibility of using a further craft for different missions: visits, inspections, rescue, self-protection, transport and relief.

The “Patiño” has a hangar for 2 heavy (SH-3D) or 3 light helicopters.

The “Patiño” is the result of the first 50% collaboration program between Spain and the Netherlands for the development of new naval units.

She was designed in accordance with the joint requirements of the Spanish Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy, and fulfils the main needs in relation to logistic support:

  • - Enhance the Fleet range.
  • - Enhance endurance at sea in far-off areas.

Her construction started in September 1992 at Bazán Shipyards in Ferrol with prefabricated blocks, weapons and workshop modules, following the innovative Integrated Construction System. This system permits works in parallel as opposed to the traditional sequential shipbuilding scheme, resulting in better working conditions, quality and accomplishment.

The keel was laid on July 1st 1993 and was launched on June 22nd 1994. Her sponsor was HRH Margarita de Borbón, sister of HM the King. The ship was delivered to the Spanish Navy in June 1995.

The “Patiño” received her Battle Ensign in Vigo on March 26th 1998 from Mrs. María de los Ángeles Callejo, wife of the City Mayor.

The ship is named after José Patiño y Rosales (1666-1736), Secretary of the Navy, the West Indies and Chancellor of the Exchequer, who spent most of his life serving the State, and organizing the Spanish Navy arsenals and shipyards.

Before the present ship, there was another one with the name “Patiño”. She was a steam transport ship with light weapons acting as mail ship, troops transport and escort of Squadrons as logistic mobile base. She was bought in the UK in 1859 and served in Spanish colonies in Fernando Poo (Africa) and the Philippines. She was decommissioned in 1879.

The motto of the “Patiño” reads: NON VENIT MINISTRARI, SED MINISTRARE (I did not come to be served, but to serve) and refers to her mission of supplying national and Allied Navies.

The ship’s activity is wide-ranging and this determines her life onboard.

While berthed, most everyday jobs deal with her readiness, programmed and incidental maintenance, training, cleaning and preparation of scheduled exercises. At sea, it is quite different since the ship normally sails in a three-watch arrangement.

In the last years the ship has been around 140 days out of base with 120 days at sea in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic waters and the Indian ocean; both in exercises and real operations integrated in different national and international Task Groups, including SNMG-1, SNMG-2 and EUNAVFOR.

One of the main features of the “Patiño” is the high quality of life onboard thanks to her excellent habitability, platform stability, sports facilities (gym, fitness centre, ping-pong, jogging areas) and first class cuisine.

Since her launching, the ship has participated in many national and international operations and exercises, among them, the UN embargo operation “Sharp Guard” in former Yugoslavia in 1996; operation “Allied Action” in Kosovo in 1998; two deployments in the Indian Ocean in the course of operation “Enduring Freedom” where the ship “So San” (with 15 SCUD missiles on board) was seized in 2002; the amphibious operation “Libre Hidalgo” in 2006; and more recently operation “Active Endeavour” in the Mediterranean (2009-2010) and operation “Atalanta” (2010-2011) in the fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa. In this latter operation the ship performed as EUNAVFOR Command Ship (CTF 465).

The “Patiño” has been part of several NATO and EU Naval Forces in the Mediterranean and Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT/SNMG-1, STANAVFORMED/SNMG-2, and EUROMARFOR) and has also participated in many multinational exercises in the Mediterranean, North Sea, Arctic Sea and the South Atlantic, among them: “Northern Light” (1995), “Bright Horizon” (1995), “Linked Seas” (1997-2000), “Strong Resolve” (1998), “Destined Glory” (1998), “Brilliant Mariner” (2006), “Neptune Warrior” (2006), “Espabras” (2008), “Joint Warrior” (2009), “Loyal Mariner” (2009) and “Swordfish” (2010).


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