August 27, 2019 (Google Translation) – The frigate “Blas de Lezo” (F-103) has set sail today, from its base in the Military Arsenal of Ferrol to carry out the Pre-deployment Inspection and qualification prior to the integration into the NATO Permanent Group Number 2 (SNMG2) . This inspection and qualification will be carried out in waters of the Gulf of Cádiz, during the first two weeks of September by EVADIZ (the Cádiz Evaluation Center), framed in the CEVACO (Combat Evaluation Center).
Once the inspection and qualification is finished, the frigate “Blas de Lezo” will leave for waters of the central Mediterranean, in the direction of the port of La Spezia (Italy), to join the NATO Permanent Group Number 2 (SNMG2). The F-103 frigate will remain integrated in this Group, composed of ships from various NATO countries until the end of November, when it will travel back to its base port in Ferrol.
During the integration in this Group, the frigate will participate in various aircraft exercises of allied countries such as the exercise “DYNAMIC MARINER-FLOTEX”, “MARE APERTO 19-2” or “DOGU AKDENIZ 19”.
During the deployment, the frigate will have an Embarked Air Unit (UNAEMB) consisting of 21 troops and a SH-60B helicopter, as well as an Operational Safety Team (EOS) composed of 11 Marines. In addition, you will have a role-1, a doctor who is part of a medical officer with telemedicine equipment. In total, the contingent aboard the ship is made up of 237 soldiers.
About the frigate “Blas de Lezo”
The frigate “Blas de Lezo” is the third of the five frigates of the class “Alvaro de Bazán” (F-100), which are part of the 31st Surface Squadron, to which the supply ships for combat also belong (BAC) “Patiño” and “Cantabria”. It was delivered to the Navy in December 2004. It has a length of 147 meters, a sleeve of 18.6 meters, and a displacement greater than 5,800 tons.
These multipurpose F-100 frigates are considered one of the best escorts in the world, highlighting their anti-aircraft and command and control capacity, as a command ship. To this end, it has the AEGIS Combat System which, together with the associated SPY 1-D multifunction radar, provides a high detection capacity, even in coastal waters, as well as the necessary firepower.
Under the command of frigate captain Juan Carlos Pérez Guerrero, this is the fourth time that the ship has been integrated into SNMG2, a group of which was the command ship in 2013.
This frigate is named after Lieutenant General Don Blas de Lezo and Olavarrieta, hero of the battle of Cartagena de Indias and, one of the most illustrious naval officers in the history of Spain. It is the fifth ship in the history of the Navy that receives this name.
The ship was built at the Navantia shipyards in Ferrol and delivered to the Navy in 2004.