The Navantia shipyard in Ferrol (Coruña) hosted this Wednesday the act of putting the keel on the F111 frigate, whose construction began in April 2022, and which is the first in the series of five new generation frigates for the Navy.

This milestone of the program has taken place in the presence of the Chief Admiral of the Navy General Staff, Antonio Piñeiro, accompanied by the President of Navantia, Ricardo Domínguez and the director of the business of Fragatas y Buques de Intervention, Eduardo Dobarro.

The act consisted of placing in step 2 of the Ferrol facilities of block 311 on which the rest of the ship will grow. With this important event Navantia continues to advance in the construction of the five frigates in this series.

This ship is scheduled to be launched in 2025 and will be delivered to the Navy in 2028. The delivery of the rest of the ships will have a 12-month cadence, until 2032, when the Navy will receive the fifth unit.
The F110 program is fully in its constructive phase, with production moving ahead of plan. To date, 18 of the 33 blocks that will make up the new F111 are in the manufacturing process, with a maturity degree of the 3D model of detail engineering of around 80% and having acquired 99% of the platform equipment for all ships in the series.

Navantia has activated an acceleration plan for the construction program, which was launched by developing the production systems with a pilot block and that has materialized in the advancement of this keel laying. Manufacturing of the F112 will begin before the end of the year.

“The F-110 program is a vital project for the Navy, which will result in the necessary replacement of the frigates of the class “Santa María”, while complementing the capacity of our F-100s as basic elements for the development of the rest of the Fleet’s capabilities”, says Admiral Piñeiro. “This transition has been possible thanks to the excellent collaborative relationship between the Navy and Navantia, which has endured through decades of joint work in a common interest in the pursuit of excellence in shipbuilding”.

“The F110 is a transforming lever for our entire industrial and technological ecosystem. If this Ferrol shipyard is already a world reference in frigate construction, this program will place it at the technological and industrial forefront, With the next construction of the digital block factory and the Digital Twin Excellence Center”, the president of Navantia, Ricardo Domínguez, has stood out.

The F110 program will hold around 9,000 jobs over a 10-year period, considering both direct and indirect employment and that induced by economic activity. Around 500 companies from all over Spain participate in it.

Five ships plus a digital twin

The F110 frigate program, whose execution order was signed in 2019, contemplates the construction of five units for a value of 4,325 million euros. These are multipurpose escort ships, with anti-aircraft, anti-surface and anti-submarine capacity and being able to operate in combination with other units. They are versatile ships that can also perform functions related to maritime safety and support for civil authorities.

The F110 is a qualitative leap from the point of view of the capabilities of the Navy and the industrial and technological potential of Navantia and its entire collaborating industry. Thus, it contributes to the strategic autonomy of Spain and to having a leading industrial and technological base, while opening new export opportunities.

The program incorporates the Digital Twin, an innovative concept that will make the Ferrol shipyard an international benchmark for frigates. The Digital Twin, designed in close collaboration with the Navy and the General Directorate of Armament and Material ( DGAM ) of the Ministry of Defense, is a virtual replica of the ship that is fed back in useful time with information from the vessel, the data permanently supplied by a network of sensors distributed throughout the ship, constituting a “cyberphysical” system that through the use of behavioral models and technologies such as Cloud Computing, Machine Learning or the Internet of Things ( IoT ) allows to support its maintenance and operation even thousands of miles away through the Digital Twin deployed on the ground.