The aircraft carrier Príncipe de Asturias (R-11) is the flagship of the Spanish Navy.

The aircraft carrier Príncipe de Asturias (R-11) is the flagship of the Spanish Navy. She was built in Bazan's Shipyards and delivered to the Spanish Navy on May 30th 1988.

The ship supports up to 12 AV-8B Harrier II Bravo or AV-8B Harrier II Plus aircraft. The Harriers are armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile and AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles, in addition to GAU-12U cannon.



The carrier also has facilities to support up to 12 helicopters, usually six Sikorsky Sea King SH-3H, four Agusta AB-212 and two Sikorsky SH-3 AEW (Airborne Early Warning) helicopters.

The ship supports a maximum of 29 fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft with up to 12 on deck and 17 aircraft in the hangar. The hangar which measures 2,398 m² is accessed by two flight deck lifts. The 5,100 m² flight deck is 176 m in length. Operating V/STOL aircraft, the carrier has the characteristic "ski-jump" (12° here), with the runway slightly off the longitudinal axis, tilted portside.

The self-defence armament includes four near defence Meroka systems and six chaff decoy launchers. For offensive weapons, the ship relies on the capabilities of her embarked aircraft. For anti-submarine defence, she relies upon the detection capacity and attacks of her SH-3D helicopters.

The design is basically that of the US Navy's abortive Sea Control Ship of the 1970s, modified to enable V/STOL aircraft to be carried. Constructed by the National Company Bazan (then Empresa Nacional Bazán, now Navantia) in their shipyard at Ferrol, Principe de Asturias was delivered to the Navy on May 30, 1988.


The construction process had begun eleven years previously, on the May 29, 1977. The processing of the steel began on March 1, 1978 and the keel was laid on October 8, 1979.


On May 22, 1982, in a ceremony presided over by HM King Don Juan Carlos, the launch took place, with HM Queen Doña Sofía as the godmother. The ship made her first trials in November of 1987.

Country of Manufacture Spain
Number in Service 1
Crew 600 crew and 230 aircrew
Armament Up to 12 Harriers, and up to 12 Sea King and Augusta AB 212 helicopters, eight cell Harpoon anti-ship missile launcher, four 20mm Close-in Weapons Systems, 12 Oerlikon 20mm guns
Length 196m
Beam 24.3m
Draught 9.4m
Displacement 17,190 tonnes
Powerplant Two GE LM 2500 gas turbines generating 34.6MW
Performance Speed 25 knots, range 6,500 miles
First of Class 1988