Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Ships of the Spanish Navy seen in Cartagena

The Spanish Navy has three main naval bases, one of which is Cartagena. Cartagena appears to be the main support base for the patrol vessels and smaller warships (e.g. minehunters) used by the Spanish Navy, and during our recent visit to that port we saw quite a few Spanish warships of these types in and around the harbour.

Patrol Vessel: Chilreu-class
Only one of the Chilreu-class patrol vessels (the Alborán (P62)) was in Cartagena during our visit.

Patrol Vessel: Meteoro-class
Whilst we were leaving Cartagena, Ventura passed a Meteoro-class patrol ship,

Patrol Vessel: Descubierta-class
The Descubierta-class are former corvettes, which have now been re-rated as patrol vessels. There were three of the class in harbour at the time of our visit, including the Infanta Elena (P76), ...

... the Cazadora (P78), ...

... and the Diana (M11).

This last ship is not a patrol vessel, having been disarmed and converted for use as mine counter-measures support ship. It has been rumoured that she may be rearmed and sold to Angola.

Patrol Vessel: Toralla-class
The name-ship of the class (Toralla (P81)) was entering Cartagena just as Ventura was mooring.

Minehunters: Segura-class
There were three ships of the Segura-class minehunters moored alongside in the naval base, including the Segura (M31) ...

... and the Turia (M34).

The design of these vessels is based upon that of the Royal Navy's Sandown-class minehunters.

Sealift Transports
The Spanish Navy has three sealift transports, and two of them were in Cartagena on the day of our visit. They were the Ro-Ro ships Martín Posadillo (A04) ...

... and El Camino Español (A05).

Other vessels
Like all other navies, the Spanish Navy has a plethora of small craft that it uses for minor roles, and a number of them were moored inside the naval base.

Although not a naval vessel as such, Cartagena is also one of the bases used by the Salvamento Marítimo. It is responsible for maritime traffic control, safety and rescue operations, and the protection of the maritime environment within Spanish waters. Amongst the vessels that it operates are a number of large rescue/salvage tugs, including the Clara Campoamor.

This vessel and its sistership – the Don Inda – are the largest of the rescue/salvage tugs operated by the Salvamento Marítimo, and one of them is stationed on Spain's Mediterranean coast and the other on her Atlantic coast.

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