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Coat of Arms of the Hydrographic Ship "Tofiño" (A-32)
Coat of Arms of the Hydrographic Ship "Tofiño" (A-32)
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Coat of Arms of the Hydrographic Ship "Tofiño" (A-32)
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Hydrographic Ship "Tofiño" (A-32)
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Hydrographic Ship "Tofiño" (A-32)
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Hydrographic Ship "Tofiño" (A-32)

The hydrographic ship "Tofiño" is the second Malaspina-class ship. She was built by BAZAN in its San Fernando Shipyards. The A-32 was launched at the end of 1973 and delivered to the Spanish Navy in April 1975.

This is the second ship with that name. The first one was also a hydrographic ship built in 1933 by the Naval Shipbuilding Society in Cartagena. She was decommissioned in 1974 after sailing more than 175,000 miles, mainly in and around Western Sahara, the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula.

She is named after the sailor and mathematician Vicente Tofiño (1732 -1795) who worked in the Spanish Navy Royal Observatory and was a member of the Science Academies of Lisbon and Paris.

The "Tofiño" is a unit from the hydrographic flotilla, under the command of the Director of the Spanish Navy Hydrographic Institute, and belongs to the Fleet´s Maritime Action Force. Her main mission is to collect bathymetric data in order to draft and update the Nautical Charts of Spanish coasts.

Other missions include:

  • Hydrographic surveys, oceanographic research, study of the national seabed and any other seamounts studied under International Agreements.
  • Updating of sailing directions, lighthouse books, beacons and radio books.
  • Installation of tide gauges and MASLs (meters above sea level).
  • Coastal photographs.
  • Measurements of flying miles.
  • Naval presence in sovereign waters or areas of interest to contribute to the protection of national maritime interests.
  • Collaboration with other State departments (SAR and Port Authorities).
  • Participation in REA operations, national or multinational Fleet tasks, etc.
  • Weather data collection.
  • Any other mission entrusted by Spanish Navy authorities.

Displacement:1.150 tons

Length: 58 meters.

Beam: 12 m

Crew: 63


  • 2 OERLIKON 20 mm machine-guns
  • Portable weapons


  • 2 MWM TBRHS-345-AU diesel engines
  • 2 variable-pitch propellers (4 blades each)
  • 1 electric pusher in the rudder for auxiliary propulsion and maneuver
  • 3 diesel generators  (378 Kw each) and 1200 Kw emergency generator


  • 2 Sperry Marine Vision Master FT surface and navigation radars and Bridgemaster E(bands X/S)
  • hermosalinograph SBE 21
  • Multi-beam echo sounder SIMRAD EM 302 (30 Khz):
    • Number of scans per ping: 1 or 2
    • Number of beams per scan: 288 (432 in high density)
    • Impulse repetition frequency: 10 Hz Max.
    • Pulse width: 0.7, 2 and 5 milliseconds in CW, 40-200 milliseconds in FM.
    • Pulse modulation: Continuous wave (CW) and FM generate more power; 15 dB in the signal/noise relation as regards continuous wave pulses, increasing the depth of lateral beams.
    • Optimum max. depth: 5,000 m.
  • Multi-beam echo sounder SIMRAD EM 3002 (300 Khz):
    • Number of beams per scan: 160
    • Number of soundings per scan: 254
    • Impulse repetition frequency: 40 Hz max.
    • Pulse width: 15 microseconds.
    • Pulse modulation: Continuous wave
    • Optimum max. depth: 120 m.
  • Single-beam echo sounder SIMRAD EA 600 (12/210 Khz)
  • Doppler NORTEK AWAC-AST 600Khz
  • Sound speed profiler


  • 2 cargo cranes (one fore for 2,500 kilos and one aft for 750 k.
  • 2 hydrographic craft for bathymetric works with portable multi-beam sounders for swallow waters.
  • Accurate positioning system receivers.
  • An oceanographic winch
  • Possibility of embarking wheel vehicles on the upper deck for works on land.

Aircraft:VERTREP operations from poop deck

The "Tofiño" and her sister ship "Malaspina" are currently stationed in San Fernando (Cádiz).

The "Tofiño" has 2 OERLIKON guns (20 mm) and has also 'Browning' machine-guns (12.7 mm) and MG (7.62 mm) as well as several portable small and long arms.

The commanding officers of the different hydrographic ships are all under the direct command of the Chief of the Hydrographic flotilla, a navy Captain.

The crew of the "Tofiño" consists of 63 people: 9 officers, 13 NCOs and 41 leading seamen and ratings. All the personnel has trained in specialized educational centers like the Naval Academy (officers), the Non-Commissioned Officers´School (petty-officers) in San Fernando, and the 'Antonio Escaño' School (leading seamen) in Ferrol.


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