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March 28, 2002

Frigate consortium to offer corvette
The Advanced Frigate Consortium (AFCON) says it will design, develop and market a new class of corvette-size ships for the international market

The consortium's members -- IZAR of Spain, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works of the United States -- signed a cooperative agreement to develop a corvette ship class with advanced platform, propulsion and combat systems including superior anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

"The AFCON team." says a statement from the consortium, "will work with international navies to design and develop an affordable, high-performance warship tailored for use in a nation's anti-air, anti-submarine, and anti-surface warfare operations. Though smaller than a frigate, the 2600-ton design has excellent survivability with a focus on susceptibility and vulnerability that is typically limited to heavier displacement hulls. This fast vessel will be equipped with advanced features such as the SPY-1K phased-array radar, modern hull-mounted sonar system, helicopter facilities, MK 41 Vertical Launching System and options for a variety of propulsion systems. Additionally, the corvette has been designed to minimize lifecycle costs while incorporating advanced automation features to reduce the crew size."

AFCON's current portfolio includes the IZAR-designed F 100 and F 310-class frigates and the DDG 51 class destroyer. All are equipped with the Aegis Weapon System. AFCON continues to build upon the relationship that produced the F 100 program, which incorporates an integrated combat system and SPY-1D radar, the most modern class of surface combatant for the Spanish Navy. This success led the Royal Norwegian Navy to focus on this type of vessel, ordering five new F 310 frigates, currently being designed and built by IZAR and incorporating Lockheed Martin's new frigate-size SPY-1F radar.