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Azkar Class Frigate
Ex Knox Class Frigate
Azkarclass01
Azkar Class Frigate
Ex Knox Class Frigate
Career 800px-Flag of Euskadi
Nationality: Euskadi
Operated by: Eusko Itsas Gudarostea
Builder: Avondale Shipyard
Ordered: First of class: June 1991
Commissioned: First of class: September 1991
Status: In Service
General characteristics
Displacement: 4,260 tons
Length: 134 m
Beam: 14.25 m
Draft: 7.54 m
Power: 28 MW
Propulsion: 1 shaft, one Westinghouse steam turbine, 2 V2M boilers.
Maximum speed: 28 knots
Range: 6,300 nautical miles at 35 knots
Complement: 200 (25 officers)
Armament: Sensors
AN/SPS-10 Surface Search Radar
AN/SPS-40 Air Search Radar
AN/SPS-67 Surface Search Radar
AN/SQS-26 Sonar
AN/SQR-18 Towed array sonar system
AN/SPG-53 Mk68 Gun Fire Control System
Electronic warfare
As Built AN/WLR-1C - AN/ULQ-6C
AN/SLA-15 (Comprising AN/SLQ-26 System)
AN/SLQ-32 Electronics Warfare System and SUPER RBOCm
Decoys
1 x TERMA DL-12T decoy launcher
1 x TERMA Loki torpedo countermeasure
Armament
one Mk-16 8 cell missile launcher for Harpoon missiles
one Mk-42 5-inch/54 caliber gun
Mark 46 torpedoes from two dual tube launchers
one 8 cell RIM-7 Sea Sparrow (BPDMS)
Aircraft carried: 1 x AS532 Cougar ASUW / ASW

The Azkar Class frigate was acquired from USA at the beginning of the 90s in order to improve the EIG blue water capabilities. The ships are named after Euskadi peaks, with the lead ship of the class bearing the name of Azkar. The ships were Knox Class Frigates (USS Valdez, USS Cook, USS Miller, USS Paul, USS Brewton) bough in 1991 and 1992 from USA. Five ships were ordered.

Background

In 1990 tension in the African territories had grown considerably and the risk of riots encouraged by communist militia was evident. Given the possibility of intervention by third countries and especially to ensure the continue export of raw materials, IEIA was commissioned by the Basque Government to quickly acquire some multipurpose frigates.

At that time the U.S. Navy had begun the process of replacing its Knox class frigates and this was an opportunity to buy cheaply and quickly the necessary units. After a short negotiation, finally in June 1991 the two governments signed a contract to acquire five Knox class frigates to enter service between the months of September 1991 and March 1992 with slight changes.

Improvements

  • Mk. I: Between 1992 and 1995 the five Azkar class frigates were upgraded with the installation of a 8 cell RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile system. The missile system located aft gave the ship anti-aircraft capability.
  • Mk. II: Between 2003 and 2005 a new Decoy system was added to the five ships with the installation of 1 TERMA DL-12T decoy launcher and TERMA Loki torpedo countermeasure

List of ships

# Name Commissioned
F-81 EEO Azkar September 1991
F-82 EEO Amboto September 1991
F-83 EEO Mugarra December 1991
F-84 EEO Txindoki January 1992
F-85 EEO Jurramendi March 1992

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