Skip to comments.Spanish aircraft carrier’s end could be near
Posted on 05/13/2012 7:19:32 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Spanish aircraft carriers end could be near
SPAINS Navy is considering mothballing the Principe de Asturias aircraft carrier as well as six Santa Maria-class frigates.
The ships would remain on restricted duties awaiting a return to operational duties, Navy sources said.
This could be the first step towards decommissioning the ships, experts believe. The medium term economic situation was unlikely to improve and ships deteriorate quickly when not in constant use, they pointed out.
The vessels age also meant that they would require such substantial refits before returning to active service that this might not be cost-effective.
By 2018 the Principe de Asturias will be 30 years old - the usual extent of a warships life cycle.
Nine years ago it was due for a complete refit which was never carried out, owing to the 400 million this would have cost.
The aircraft carrier now requires increasing repairs and much of its equipment is obsolete. Meanwhile, military spending has been reduced by almost 25 per cent over the last four years.
The 6,316 million allocated to Defence in this years budget was 8.84 per cent less than in 2011.
Days at sea for Navy vessels were cut from 49 to 40 and their fuel allowance reduced by 44 per cent.
The Principe de Asturias activities are now very limited and the aircraft carrier no longer participates in international manoeuvres.
These are restricted to exercises near the Rota naval base like those carried out last month in Cadiz Bay for pilots qualifying to fly Harrier jump jets.
Any decision regarding the Principe de Asturias would be taken at the very highest political level, Navy insiders revealed. It is Spains only aircraft carrier and a significant deterrent, the same sources argued.
Its mere presence in a conflict area would be one of the most convincing political messages it was possible to send, they claimed.
By Linda Hall
Principe de Asturias
What exactly is the current military threat to Spain? Other than prestige, why do they need a carrier?
I’m sorry but I find that bow oddly attractive,
rather sexy looking, that tapering bow, those
round anchor ports...
You call THAT an aircraft carrier, THIS is an aircraft carrier.
Mostly, former glory. I don’t know if the Canary Islands, and a few islands in the Med. justify their Navy from their pov. I expect more countries to cut back, while we maintain their security on our dime.
Okay Guys and Gals, you can make allot of jokes about the Spanish Navy and their Harrier Carrier, but these Guys have a set of Iron Twins as I have seen them in action first hand and they can nuts to sink several ships, if they had too. These crazy SOBs come screaming in 20-30 feet off the water carrying anti-ship Missiles and one of the main reasons they have Harrier Carries is because under NATO, they along with Italy are tasked with NATO’s Anti-Sub efforts.
Prestige is enough of a reason, actually. But no nation can for long project military power and support millions of deadbeats, both at the same time.
It's one or the other. Spain has made its choice. America will make that same choice soon, I fear.
They don't neeed a carrier for Harriers.
I believe, can stand corrected if wrong, that US aircraft also have an up swept launch deck. The purpose is to use available launching power to gain extra elevation at take-off.
Heh, yes, you can and will be corrected...:)
No, they don’t have upswept ramps on US carriers.
With the muslim populations rising in europe and soon to be major minorities or even majorities in a couple decades, it may not be a bad thing that european countries can’t afford their militaries and the necessary equipment that could wind up attacking us under a caliphate’s rule there.
No, but the Russians and perhaps some other have it. I think it's kind of a small-carrier thing.
Spain needs a Navy?...... WHY?..
The Asturias is basically a carbon copy of the Sea Control Ship that Elmo Zumwalt proposed in the 70’s when he was CNO, as part of his “High-Low” package, an idea that I think we should seriously take another look at. In short, it means that we achieve high fleet numbers by not just buying the uber-expensive capital ships, but supplementing them with lots of smaller cheaper ships that could do some jobs more cost-effictively, but do the job well. Zumwalt’s plan called for 8 of these VSTOL carriers to patrol sea lanes doing basic fighter patrol and helicopter anti-sub ops. When the ill-fated XFV-12 didn’t work out, they planned to use an American copy of the Sea Harrier. Big flatop guys wouldn’t have it though, and fought behind the scenes to kill off anything that wasn’t a Nimitz class.
Only two of Zumwalt’s proposed ship classes from this project actually made it into production. The Pegasus Class hydrofoils were built, but only six of them, and the Navy never really supported the program, doing everything they could to kill. The Perry Class frigates, however, were the most numerous post-WWII class of ship to be built until the Burke destroyers came along.
It's a not equipped with catapults thing.