Following a readiness period in her homeport in Ferrol, Spain, the AEGIS frigate Cristóbal Colón (F-105) is set to sail towards Norfolk, Virginia for a month and a half deployment along with a U.S. Navy destroyer for combat system ship qualification trials (CSSQT).
These trials will take place in the Wallops Island range off the coast of Virginia.
Cristobal Colon will be joined by the U.S. Navy destroyer ‘USS Arleigh Burke’ (DDG-51). The exercise will also permit to test and verify the interoperability of Spanish Navy warships with similar US and allied platforms.
The main purpose of CSSQT is to assess and certify the ship’s combat system for command and control, anti-air warfare and anti-missile defense.
The Spanish Navy said the qualification trials will conclude with the launching of Standard (SM-2) and Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) missiles during three scheduled air defense exercises.
The F-105 is the fifth of the AEGIS-equipped Spanish Navy frigates launched in 2010 and commissioned into active service in October 2012. Her crew consists of 201 sailors who perform humanitarian and peace-keeping missions in addition to conventional operations. The F-105 has participated in many international operations like ‘Ocean Shield’ and has been flagship of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2).