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SPS Patiño (A14)

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Title: SPS Patiño (A14)  
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Subject: Ships of the Spanish Navy, MV Blue Star, Piracy in Somalia, MV Longchamp, MV Guanabara
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SPS Patiño (A14)

Career (Spain)
Name: SPS Patiño A14
Ordered: December 1991
Builder: Navantia
Launched: 22 June 1994
Completed: 16th June 1995
Commissioned: June 1995[1]
Homeport: Naval Station Rota Spain
Status: active in service
General characteristics
Class & type: Supply-class fast combat support ship
Tonnage: 17,045 t
Displacement: 7,780 t
Length: 170 m (560 ft)
Installed power: two Navantia/Burmeister and Wein 16V40/45 diesel engines rated at 17.6MW sustained power[1]
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 13,450 nm
Endurance: 21 days
Crew: 148, plus 19 air crew, plus 20 extras[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:

2 × Decca 2690 navigation radar

URN-25A TACAN Aldebaran ESM / ECM system
Armament: 2x Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
2x Izar FABA Systems Meroka 20mm close-in weapon system
Aircraft carried: 3 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King
Aviation facilities: 490 m2 flight deck[1]

The SPS Patiño A14 is a Philip V of Spain.


SPS Patiño (A14) by the Spanish naval base at Ferrol


Patiño is a product of cooperation between Koninklijke Marine and Armada Española. The design of the ship is similar to HNLMS Amsterdam (A836) of the Dutch Navy, the vessels were developed in cooperation. Patiño was mostly a civilian design.


SPS Patiño is fitted with two Navantia / Burmeister and Wein 16V40/45 diesel engines rated to 17.6MW Sustained power. The engines drive a single shaft with a five-blade controllable pitch propeller.


Patiño is fitted with three navigation-surface search and helicopter control radars operating at I-band. The countermeasures equipment includes: four mk36 SRBOC (super rapid blooming offboard chaff), six-barrelled launchers from Lockheed Martin Sippican der four infrared decoys and chaff, distraction and deflection of incoming anti-ship missiles to a range of 4 km; an AN/SLQ-25A Nixie Towed torpedo Decoy system from Argon ST of Newington, Virginia som two Towed units to emit acoustic signals from an onboard transmitter, and an Aldebaran Electronic Support Measures / Electronic Countermeasures (ESM / ECM) system from Spain's Indra Group.


SPS Patiño´s weapons system include two Oerlikon 20mm guns and the vessel is fitted for two Izar FABA Systems Meroka 20mm close-in weapon system (CIWS). The guns having a rate of four of 1.440 rounds a minute and range of up to 2.000 m. The Meroka CIWS includes infrared camera and video auto-tracker.


SPS Patiño A14 is designed to carry up to 5 helicopters. It has a normal complement of only three 3 Sikorsky SH-3 Sea Kings.


The ships are able to support a fleet of up to 21 days, and is equipped with six fuel pumps with a capacity of 600 cubic meters of fuel per minute. A typical fleet consists of 5 escort carriers and about 20 aircraft.

Diesel (F76) (spread over 16 different tanks): 8750 tons Aviation fuel (F44): 1200 tons (Holland rebuilt in 2003 a tank to contain F76) Freshwater (1 tank): 142 ton Food (over 1 tørproviantrum, 1 cold room and freezer 1): 1100 tons Ammunition (spread over 5 rooms): 350 ton


Operation Sharp Guard, 1996

Patiño participated in Operation Sharp Guard, to support the trade embargo against the former Yugoslavia.

Operation Allied Action, 1998

In 1998, SPS Patiño participated in Operation Allied Action during the Kosovo War.

Patiño was also involved a long series of international exercises such as Joint Warrior and Seattle Mariner and has also sailed as part of SNMG1 and SNMG2.

Operation Enduring Freedom

In 2002, Patiño and the Spanish frigate Navarra took part of Operation Enduring Freedom. In December 2002, the media spotlight directed at the Spanish ships as they boarded the North Korean merchant ship So San, which was pretending to be a Colombian trading ship.

So San, sailed without flag and tried to steer elusive. After four warning shots across the ship's bows, Spanish marksmen hit and cut an sling crossing the deck to make room for inserting a boarding team by helicopter. On board the ship the Spanish marines found 15 Scud missiles with conventional warheads of 250 kg, 23 tanks of nitric acid and 85 drums of other chemicals. Yemen stated that the cargo belonged to them and that they protested against the seizure of the ship. It subsequently emerged that the Yemeni defense had purchased the missiles legally from North Korea and that they therefore had no legal authority to detain the ship. The Allies had to let the ship proceed.

Somalia, 2010 to Present

SPS Patiño was deployed and operates as part of the European Union's Operation Atalanta security mission. The EU force NAVFOR, a multinational mission to protect ships, patrols the region in the perilous shipping route off the coast of Somalia. Patino was the NAVFOR flagship.

On 8 December 2010, SPS Patiño arrived off Somalia and became the flagship of the operation under Rear Admiral Juan Rodriguez on 14 December.[2] Her role as the flagship lasted until 21 January 2011.[3] By the end of November 2011 the vessel returned to the Indian Ocean to take her second tour at Operation Atalanta. As a replenishment ship she supported other vessels of the operation with oil and other supplies and also escorted ships with humanitarian help to Somalia.

12 January Piracy Incident

In the early morning of 12 January 2012, SPS Patiño was attacked by Somali pirates, apparently under the assumption that the ship was just a commercial vessel. The Spanish naval vessel fought off a gun attack by the pirates. SPS Patiño then chased by helicopter the attackers and captured six of them while one was reported killed. It had been escorting a ship carrying food aid to Somalia for the World Food Programme.[4][4]


  1. ^ a b c d Patino Class, Spain
  2. ^ Navfor (2010-12-09). "EUNAVFOR welcomes the Spanish Combat Replenishment Ship SPS PATINO". 
  3. ^ NAVFOR (2011-01-24). "EU NAVFOR thanks SPS PATIÑO after one and a half months of operation". Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Pirates attack Spanish navy ship off Somalia, prompting gunbattle and helicopter chase".  
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