http://www.sina.com.cn 2008年03月12日 08:54 中國船舶資訊中心
Launch of Juan Carlos I (edited)
(Source: Navantia; issued March 10, 2008)
Coinciding with the year's highest tide, the Juan Carlos I LHD ship was launched today, 10 March 2008, at 6:09 pm, from Navantia's Ferrol shipyard. At the ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen of Spain sponsored the launching of this vessel, which will become the biggest in the history of the Spanish Navy next December, when commissioning will take place.
H.M. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía, accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Asturias, arrived at the shipyard a few minutes prior to the ceremony. They were greeted at the slipway by Emilio Pérez Touriño, president of the Autonomous Region of Galicia; José Antonio Alonso, Ministry of Defense; Enrique Martínez Robles, chairman of the State Company for Industrial Participations (SEPI in Spanish), Navantia’s chairman, Juan Pedro Gómez Jaén, and the Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy, Admiral Sebastián Zaragoza.
The launching sequence was started at 6:02 pm, with the prescriptive instructions of "ship ready and clear for launching; handover of keys for removal of padlocks; delivery of removed padlocks and blessing of the ship".
At precisely the scheduled time, Queen Sofía struck the mechanism that cut the ribbon of the Cava bottle, hurling it against the ship's hull. The huge, 230 meter-long ship began to slide along the slipway to the strains of the National Anthem played by a Marine Band.
Displacing 18,000 tons and with a height equal to a 16-story building, the LHD Juan Carlos I entered the waters of El Ferrol estuary rising a spectacular wave, being stabilized moments afterwards by the tugboats.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Designed and built at a cost of 360 million euros under the Buque de Proyeccion Estrategica (strategic projection ship, BPE) project, the Juan Carlos I is a multipurpose ship capable of amphibious and air operations, as well as of transporting army units and humanitarian aid. With a length of over 230 meters and a height of 32 meters, it is larger than the aircraft carrier Principe de Asturias which, until now, was the largest ship in the Spanish Navy.
With a crew of 243 officers and ratings, the Juan Carlos I has a range of 9,000 nautical miles. In addition to its crew, it can carry 902 troops and up to 46 Leopard tanks, as well as up to 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, eight of which can operate on deck at the same time. Its well deck can deploy landing craft and other boats.
Spanish Navy plans call for the Juan Carlos I to replace the landing ships Hernan Cortes and Pizarro, thus improving its amphibious capabilities while, at the same time, providing an alternative aerial platform to the carrier Principe de Asturias. This will be particularly useful as the naval air group will remain operational when the carrier goes into drydock shortly for a refit.)
May the Force be with you