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Light Transport "Contramaestre Casado" (A-01)
Light Transport "Contramaestre Casado" (A-01)
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Light Transport "Contramaestre Casado" (A-01)
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View of the forecastle from the bridge
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Light Transport "Contramaestre Casado" (A-01)
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The Commanding Officer of the ‘Contramaestre Casado’ welcomes you to this webpsite and invites you to ‘visit’ this unit assigned to the Maritime Action Force and stationed in Rota Naval Base (Cádiz). She is the only ship of her class and is dubbed Gray Grandpa as the oldest ship in the Spanish Navy, with the honorable exception of the training tall ship ‘Juan Sebastián de Elcano’.

Displacement: 2.000 tons - 5.000 tons (max load).

Length: 104 m.

Beam: 14 m

Propulsion: 1 Burmeinster & Wain diesel engine (4,500 HP); 1 fixed pitch propeller (4 blades).

Electric plant: 2 diesel generators NOHAB (165 Kw each); 2 diesel generators MAN D2866TE (177 Kw each)

Aircraft: Flight deck for light helicopters (H-500, AB-212, etc...) for day operations. VERTREP capability.

Crew: 67

This ship has been carrying out her mission of logistic transport of personnel and materiel since 1983. Given her specific characteristics and structure, the A-01 regularly participates in maneuvers and exercises as ‘civilian target ship’ in different fictitious scenarios (illegal traffic, merchant ship in distress, medical emergencies, etc.), permitting realistic training with other naval units.

The home base of the ‘Contramaestre Casado’ is the Rota Naval Base, (Cádiz).

AAs Light Transport, the ship is just equipped with self-defense weapons.


  • 2 OERLIKON guns (20/120)
  • 2 MG-42 machine-gun (7.6 mm)

  • Navigation radar KELVIN HUGHES
  • Navigation radar RAYTHEON NSC 18

  • 2 RHIBs: CORMORAN 730 (18 pax.) and ZODIAC Mk V (12 pax.)
  • Capability to operate AB-212 or H-500 helos.
  • Personnel transport capacity (200 people)
  • 2.020 tons in 4 holds for general cargo and vehicles with a total volume of 2,500 cubic meters.
  • The current ‘Contramaestre Casado’ (A-01) is the second ship in the Spanish Navy with that name in honor of boatswain José Casado Ferreiro, hero after a naval combat during the 1898 Cuban War. He is buried at the Mausoleum of Distinguished Sailors in San Fernando.

    His exploit is summarized as follows: After the cruiser ‘Infanta María Teresa’ sank during the Santiago de Cuba battle, a man suddenly appeared in the ship ablaze shouting for help with ordnance exploding all over the place. Boatswain Casado, already safe ashore, jumped into a shark-infested sea, climbed over the red-hot side of the ship, carried the injured sailor over his shoulders and swam back to the coast where 500 men waited on tenterhooks.

    Boatswain José Casado was born in Mugardos (Corunna) on October 9th 1867 and died 47 years later when he fell from the battleship “España”, hit by a heavy rope.

    The first Spanish Navy ship with his name was a coal transport vessel built in the United Kingdom in 1920 and decommissioned in 1953.

    The present ‘Contramaestre Casado’ (ex-Leeward Islands; ex-Bajamar; ex-Bonzo; ex-Fortuna Reefer; ex-Thanakis K) was launched in 1951 in Goteborg (Sweden) and served as reefer ship supplying several Swedish islands. The ship was sold to the shipping company Fred Olsen and subsequently passed around from company to company until purchased by Latam Shipping Co. which used her for smuggling goods. In one of those illegal errands, she was seized by the Spanish Navy corvette ‘Descubierta’ in August 1982 and towed to Vigo where the consignment of smuggled goods was unloaded. The ship was abandoned by her owners and auctioned by the Spanish Treasury. The Ministry of Defense was the successful bidder and assigned the ship to the Spanish Navy.

    After a 9-month refurbishing, the ship was delivered on November 23rd 1983 and named ‘Contramaestre Casado’ (A-01).

    The ship received her battle ensign on July 22nd 1985 in Corunna.

    The crew consists of 67 man and women: 9 officers, 9 NCOs, and 49 leading seamen and ratings.

    The A-01 has been operational in the Spanish Navy for 30 years and has participated in hundreds of deployments: carrying conscripts from the peninsula to the Canary Islands; transport of NATO troops to exercises in the North Sea or the Mediterranean, etc. She is the ship in charge of transporting the Legion contingent that takes part every year in the Holy Week processions of Málaga.

    Cargo loads included all type of weapons and materiel as well as ‘off the cuff’ assignments like the transport of an America-class sail boat; hydrographic vessels, and even a DC-9 cockpit for bound for Las Palmas.

    In relation to exercises, the A-01 has performed as a first class ‘law-breaker’ ship operating as weapons smuggler, slave ship, merchant ship with an epidemic on board, or just a ship in distress. The ship is so often employed in those tasks that she has been dubbed ‘Smuggler Casado’ or ‘The Sandokan of the Bay’. The ship is used by Special Naval Warfare forces, Marine Corps, Civil Guard and Constabulary units and Customs police to train and test VBSS (visit, boarding, search, seizure) procedures. Other organizations like the Red Cross also use the ship for different medical and NRBC (nuclear, radiological, biological, chemical) drills.


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