Exercise ‘At Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield 2021’

Monday, May 24, 2021

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Firing of an ESSM from frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’
Firing of an ESSM from frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’
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Firing of an ESSM from frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’
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Firing of an ESSM from frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’
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The F-105 is the most modern warship in the Spanish Navy

Frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ fired a missile against a supersonic target during NATO’s naval exercise 'At Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield’ in waters of Scotland.

Last Friday 21st, the Spanish Navy frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ fired an Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) against a sea-skimming supersonic target flying at nearly three times the speed of sound.

This firing, whose aim was to provide a solid defense to a HVU ship (High Valid Unit), was a great milestone for the Spanish Navy and for Spain as a whole. It is the first time that a Spanish warship fires a real missile against this type of target with a very demanding flight profile for the existing air defense systems.

The complex cinematic of the sea-skimming supersonic target demanded a strong and capable Combat System since it is very difficult to detect them flying so low at that speed. The launching from the ‘Cristóbal Colón’ had an added difficulty as the target was not directed against the ship, but flew an indirect trajectory which meant that the missile defense process was even more complex.

With this exercise the anti-air and anti-missile defense capability of the F-100 platforms has been demonstrated. Our modern naval units are warships of reference within the naval community. The ‘At Sea Demonstration/Formidable Shield’ has tried to validate the interoperability and integration of NATO nations as regards the Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability. The most modern and capable ships of the world meet in this biennial event which, on this occasion, is taking place off the Scottish coast and will last until June 3rd.

Frigate ‘Cristóbal Colón’ (F-105) is the fifth F-100 frigate. Normally stationed in Ferrol (NW Spain), her anti-air capability with the AEGIS combat system makes her one of the most advanced and renowned warships at international level. The F-105 regularly integrates into the different Standing NATO maritime groups. More specifically, in the SNMG-2 which usually deploys in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The ‘Cristóbal Colón’ has been flagship of the SNMG-2 from November 2020 to March 2021, deploying for more than 150 days.


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