Pyne tours Spanish frigate, praises Navantia for role in AWD program

Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Adelaide, alongside the Port of Fremantle with Armada Espanola (ESPS) Cristobal Colon berthed behind it, prior to the commencement of Exercise Ocean Explorer 17.
Spanish Navy frigate Cristóbal Colón with HMAS Adelaide at the Port of Fremantle prior to Exercise Ocean Explorer. (Defence)

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has visited Spanish Navy frigate Cristóbal Colón in South Australia to inspect the capabilities of the ship and receive an update on the progress of training being conducted with the Royal Australian Navy.

“The Cristóbal Colón is a highly capable vessel, and demonstrates the kind of capability that Navantia are offering in the Future Frigate project,” Minister Pyne stated on March 17.

“Navantia was instrumental in turning around the Air Warfare Destroyer program in Australia, taking the Osborne shipyard to internationally competitive standards. Navantia’s ability to run shipyards, Australia’s long relationship with Spain and the capability of ships like the Cristóbal Colón are among the reasons Navantia were downselected for Australia’s Future Frigate program.”

The frigate arrived in Australia on February 19.