Philippines Interested in the aircraft carrier 'Principe de Asturias'

Indonesia has ruled out the purchase of the ship after the visit that turned several representatives of his government to the arsenal of Ferrol.

In the bid for the Spanish carriers have also entered several Arab. The sale agreement includes that reform or adjustments shall be Spanish shipyards (photo :  Jack C. Bahm)
In the bid for the Spanish carriers have also entered several Arab. The sale agreement includes that reform or adjustments shall be Spanish shipyards (photo : Jack C. Bahm)

The aircraft carrier 'Principe de Asturias' has several suitors since the Spanish Armada gave low fleet in February. At the moment it is docked in the arsenal of Ferrol, which is handling the liquidation proceedings and at the same time, it continues with the tasks of withdrawal of their useful material. The plans that were originally planned for that has been the jewel in the crown of the Spanish Armada was being scrapped, but the Ministry of Defence has opened out to the possibility of its sale. This option has become stronger in recent weeks, as LA VOZ announced last April, to the interest shown by the purchase of the vessel by Asian and Arab countries. The Spanish Navy has confirmed that there are potential buyers, but so far has not materialized any sales transaction.

A delegation from the Indonesian Navy moved to late March to Ferrol to visit the ship and learn about their capabilities. However, the government has ruled out the purchase. The auction is now in the hands of Philippines. If definitely take the step to purchase, enter into the select club of countries with these characteristics boats among its fleet. Only nine governments have aircraft carriers. So, the closest to Indonesia is China and Thailand. The latter state has a nearly identical aircraft carrier 'Principe de Asturias'. Ferrol was built between 1994 and 1996 and gave the Thai government in 1997.

The Spanish Navy has indicated that no further visits planned similar to that made by Indonesians, although the door is open. For sale carried out one of these nations, in the marketing agreement could include a necessary modernization that could run in the shipyards of Navantia, which would provide a significant workload for the company. Just the cost of the reform and the high maintenance costs of the aircraft carrier was prompting Defense to declare their withdrawal. In February, the ship docked in Ferrol, after leaving their base in Rota, to remove from within all elements that can be reused. If no country finally acquires the carrier, will be auctioning an end, following a public call, to be scrapped as junk.

The Defence Ministry would take economic return with the sales transaction and, at the same time would be a dignified exit for this vessel, which has been the flagship of the Navy for over two decades. Defense announced on November 22 the ship retirement after 25 years of service, but clearly did not disclose what his final destination, although in some forums they talked about scrapping. This possibility, of course, does not convince the pointing control and less traumatic options.

The carrier left the Feb. 7 based in Rota to go to Arsenal of Ferrol, which holds its termination process Fleet units. The parting of the 'Prince of Asturias' took the honors during a naval parade that was attended by Don Felipe and Defence Minister Peter Morenés. In its cover held a ceremony and a display of military aircraft have integrated their tactical equipment, helicopters and planes Harrie '.

The floor of the carrier process will take between six and nine months. The Navy LA VOZ recently confirmed that the process of demilitarization of the ship began earlier this year at the base of Rota and is now in the Arsenal of Ferrol. The same sources stressed already dismantled a series of elements, mainly historical value goods, also the equipment for aircraft operations and transmission equipment as well as ammunition and combat systems. By prior, the Navy made an inventory of the material of the ship and, at present, we study the incorporation of some of its parts to other units of the Spanish fleet. This withdrawal process is similar to that carried out in 2009 with two Baleares class frigates (F-71), which were replaced by the new F-100. The Navy has scrapped a boat in the last decade and vessels have left the service are moored.

Ship Reconstruction

The Navy insists that, once the process is completed low, the aircraft carrier will be ready for disposal, ie for sale. Clear, however, that if during the process of disarmament is a country interested in your purchase, automatically stops the removal, so that the carrier does not lose all its military capabilities. At this point, it is the pursued, will sign an agreement with the country concerned compromising the work of adaptation and remodeling industry with some Spanish.

That is, the option includes the reconstruction of the boat to the new needs of the buyer country is made in Spain. So, Navantia, the builder of the ship, has very competitive studies for the possible adaptation of the boat to the needs of third countries.

(LavozDigital)

English by Defense Studies

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