March 26 2020 (Google Translation) – Having joined the carrier strike group’s European escort at the start of March as part of the Foch mission , the Spanish frigate Blas de Lezo is helping to protect the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and is helping to establish an assessment of situation in the Atlantic and North Sea. Its integration into GAN is planned until April.
Alvaro- class anti-aircraft frigate of Bazan , this building has an AEGIS combat system deployed around a SPY1-D radar which allows it to detect aircraft and missiles at very long distance. This high-tech equipment was previously only deployed on larger ships such as cruisers or destroyers. Its transmitting power allows it to detect all types of threats in difficult environmental conditions characteristic of the maritime space.
Its detection capabilities are also reinforced by an onboard SH60 helicopter. The sensors and armament of this helicopter allow it to detect and attack surface ships or submarines, in addition to the anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weapons of the frigate or to engage targets outside their ranges.
Detached at the front of the GAN, it plays the role of lookout and scout to assure the entire GAN that the area of operations where it operates is secure.
Its participation in the Foch mission allows it to improve its interoperability with the GAN and more generally with the French Navy, thus contributing to the strengthening of Franco-Spanish cooperation with the common aim of securing European aeromaritimes and territorial approaches.
Note that the Blas de Lezo is undoubtedly the most French of the Armada’s buildings by its numerous past interactions with the national navy. In November 2019, he participated in the PEAN exercise. This opportunity allowed him to learn to work in the complex and demanding environment of the aircraft carrier and to participate in the rise of the carrier strike group in the Toulon approaches.