Spanish aircraft carrier Príncipe de Asturias

The Príncipe de Asturias, originally named Almirante Carrero Blanco, is an aircraft carrier and was the flagship of the Spanish Navy. She was built in Bazan's Shipyards and delivered to the Spanish Navy on 30 May 1988.

Spain has operated aircraft carriers since the 1920s, initially with the seaplane tender SPS Dédalo and later the multi-role light carrier SPS Dédalo, which was formerly the US Navy's World War II light carrier USS Cabot. The SPS Dédalo was replaced as the navy's fleet flagship by the Príncipe de Asturias.

The ship was permanently assigned to the Alpha Group, comprising the carrier and six Santa Maria class frigates (a Spanish version of the USN Oliver Hazard Perry FFGs). Other vessels such as logistic ships, tankers and corvettes are frequently assigned to the Group when required. Príncipe de Asturias and the Alpha Group have participated in peace support operations in the Adriatic Sea.

The ship became a victim of defence cuts, being officially decommissioned on 6 February 2013.

Several countries have reportedly expressed interest in buying the Príncipe de Asturias before it is dismantled. Indonesia reportedly showed interest, but then decided not to buy. Unconfirmed sources also indicate the Philippines, several Arab countries, and Angola are trying to purchase the Principe de Asturias.

Spanish aircraft carrier Príncipe de Asturias
Class Ship
Type Aircraft Carrier
Manufacturer Navantia
Production Period 1979 - 1982
Origin Spain
Country Name Origin Year
Spain 1988
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Spain 1988 2013 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Navantia 1979 1982 1 View

The design is basically that of the initial US Navy's Sea Control Ship design of the 1970s, modified with a ski-jump ramp added to better enable V/STOL aircraft takeoff and other modifications to fit spanish specifications. Constructed by the National Company Bazan (then Empresa Nacional Bazán, now Navantia) in their shipyard at Ferrol, Príncipe de Asturias was delivered to the Navy on 30 May 1988. The construction process had begun eleven years previously, on 29 May 1977. The processing of the steel began on 1 March 1978 and the keel was laid on 8 October 1979. On 22 May 1982, in a ceremony presided over by Juan Carlos I of Spain, the launch took place, with Queen Sofía of Spain as the ship's sponsor. The ship made her first sea trials in November 1987.

The Thai warship HTMS Chakri Naruebet, delivered in 1997, is based on the Spanish ship's design.

Career (Spain)
Name: Príncipe de Asturias
Namesake: Príncipe de Asturias
Ordered: 29 May 1977
Builder: Bazán, Ferrol
Laid down: 8 October 1979
Launched: 22 May 1982
Sponsored by: Queen Sofía of Spain
Commissioned: 30 May 1988
Decommissioned: 6 February 2013
Homeport: Naval Station Rota
Identification: Pennant number: R-11
Status: Decommissioned
General characteristics
Class & type: Principe de Asturias-class aircraft carrier
Displacement: 15,912 tons standard,
16,700 tons loaded
Length: 195.9 m (643 ft)
Beam: 24.3 m (80 ft)
Draught: 9.4 m (31 ft)
Propulsion: 2 × Bazan-General Electric LM2500+ gas turbines in COGAGconfiguration, one shaft, 46,400 shp
Speed: 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Range: 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 830 (total); 600 ship crew, 230 air crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
Raytheon SPS-52C/D 3D air search radar,
SC Cardion SPS-55 surface search radar,
ITT SPN-35A aircraft control radar,
FABA SPG-M2B fire control radar,
SELEX Sistemi Integrati RTN-11L/X missile approach warning radar,
Selex RAN 12 L target designation radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Nettunel electronic countermeasures unit,
Super RBOC,
Sensytech AN/SLQ-25 Nixie decoy
Armament: 4 × FABA Meroka Mod 2BCIWS,
12 × Oerlikon L120 20 mm guns
Aircraft carried: 29 fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft
Aviation facilities: 12° ski jump 46.5 m in length

End notes