Spanish frigate bound for Australia

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Cristóbal Colón is the fifth of the F-100 frigates. (Spanish Navy)

Spanish Navy frigate Cristóbal Colón is due to arrive at Fleet Base West in mid-February, having departed from Ferrol with a detachment of five Royal Australian Navy (RAN) personnel.

The ship will support introduction into service training for NUSHIP Hobart, Navy Daily reported, and will visit Perth, Fremantle, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns during the seven-month deployment.

“We are developing a training program for NUSHIP Hobart crew during the transit,” said Lieutenant Commander Ben Wellfare, who is leading the RAN detachment.

“Up to 30 Hobart personnel will embark on Cristóbal Colón for familiarisation each time the Spanish ship sails.”

Chief Petty Officer Shane Smith said that the Spanish frigate, built by Navantia, has an almost identical layout to and shares systems with the Hobart class DDG.

“I participated in the recent Hobart sea trials, and from what I have observed our navies will operate the systems in a very similar way,” he said.

Navantia has been shortlisted for the Future Frigate program with a redesigned F-100 frigate, on which the DDGs are based.