Surface Forces: Spain Goes Long


June 10,2008: Spain is arming its largest warships with long range weapons it had long insisted it would never use. Maybe not, but Spain is buying 20 U.S. RGM-109E Block IV Surface Ship Vertical Launched Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, plus five sets of control equipment. Spain will use the Tomahawks in its four F-100 class frigates. This Tomahawk weighs 1.2 ton, is 18 feet long, has a range 1,600 kilometers, getting there at a speed of 600-900 kilometers an hour, flying at an altitude of 50-100 feet and propelled by a jet engine generating only 600 pounds of thrust. Accuracy is on a par with JDAM (about 30 feet).

The 6,000 ton F100 frigates have Aegis radar systems (controlling Standard and Sea Sparrow missiles), and 48 Mark-41 vertical launch cells for missiles. The ships also carry eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a 127mm gun, and a short-range anti-missile defense system. Each F-100 costs about half a billion dollars. These ships entered service between 2002-2006. The F-100s could also be equipped to use the anti-missile version of the Standard missile, but Spain has denied any interest in that, so far.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close