The Spanish navy will be shuffling its pack of ships over the next few days in response to the budget cuts imposed by the Ministry of Defence, and as part of these changes the old corvettes of the 21st squadron which are still in service and have been converted into patrol ships will once again gather in Cartagena.
The “Infanta Elena” and the “Infanta Cristina”, which are already in the La Curra dock, will be joined by the “Vencedora” on 25th June and the “Cazadora” on 2nd July. Two other vessels are being taken out of service: the “Descubierta” has already been retired, and the “Diana”, which has been converted into the control ship of the minesweeper fleet, will soon follow in her footsteps.
The “Vencedora” and the “Cazadora” are two of the ships which are being transferred away from the Canary Islands, along with the patrol vessels “Medas” and “Tagomago”, which will sail to their new bases in Cádiz and Málaga. All of this is in response to the reduction in money available from the Ministry, and the resulting decision to base all patrol ships of the same type in just one port in order to cut back on maintenance costs.
As part of the same cost-cutting exercise, two modern patrol ships belonging to the first series in the BAM (maritime action vessels) program will be travelling to the naval base in the Canaries. These two ships are equipped with highly developed military technology and are designed to take part in salvage, anti-pollution, evacuation and humanitarian aid operations. The third ship of the series of four to be built, the “Relámpago”, docked yesterday at La Curra as part of its test phase before becoming fully operational.
The two images were taken yesterday in Cartagena, and show the Infanta Elena and the Infanta Cristina in the docks ( the Elena is already moored and the Cristina is coming in to join her) and the Relámpago in the docks.
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