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Documents and Photos: on board the patrol boat ‘Atalaya’ at the Naval Military School of Marín

Last weekend, the Naval Military School held an open day to visit the P-74 patrol car “Atalaya”, visiting its docks on Friday and Saturday. There I was with my camera. I bring you the photos I made of this ship. And you may also check it here

Belonging to the Serviola Class and based in the Naval Station of La Graña, in Ferrol , the “Atalaya” was built in that same Galician city by the National Company Bazán. Launched on November 22, 1991, he was assigned on June 26, 1992. Currently this patrolman, like the rest of the Navy, is part of the Maritime Action Force and its main mission is the protection of national interests in spaces maritime sovereignty and national interest , with particular attention to the Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). As told us the sailor who made us guide in the visit, usually operates in waters of the Bay of Biscay and off the Galician coast to the height of Portugal , although it is also destined from time to time south of the Peninsula.

It has a total length of 68.56 meters, 10.4 of mango and 7.08 of plot of track, displaces 1,106 tons and according to our guide, currently has a crew of 51 people. Its propulsion consists of two diesel engines MTU- Bazán 16 V956 TB 91 (precisely the sailor who attended us, very kindly, was machines), with a power of 7,500 horses, being able to reach a speed of 20 knots. At 12 knots it has an autonomy of 8,000 miles.


The armament is formed by a tube Mk.22 of 76 mm (3 “/ 50) , of a aspect quite antiquated, to tell truth. It was planned that the patrolmen of this class would be equipped later with a rapid-fire piece, but someone in the Ministry of Defense should have forgotten to buy them … The sailor who attended us showed us one of the projectiles of the cannon.


Just behind the barrel, and located under the bridge, there is an ammunition elevator that serves to feed the piece from the holy barbarian of the ship:


The ship also has two Browning M-2 12.7 mm machine guns , located one on each side of the bridge. On Saturday was only starboard:


The armament is completed with a 7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG-3 machine gun , located next to thestarboard exit of the bridge, next to a projector. In the photo we see, in the background, the Island of Tambo, property of the Navy, with its small lighthouse .


In addition to the above, the bridge had a small armory with a Spanish assault rifle Cetme C of 7.62 mm and two light machine guns FN Minimi of 5.56 mm . Being inside the ship was not possible to take photographs of them (it is not allowed to take pictures of the interiors of the ships of the Navy). As for means of transport, the “Atalaya” has two semi-rigid boats , located to port and starboard at the height of its chimney. Under these lines we see the starboard boat.


The ship’s electronics consist of an ALCOR opto-directional shotgun, a Consilium Selesmar RTM 30 SIM surface / air radar, a Consilium Selesmar RTM 25 XIM navigation radar and a FLIR night vision camera. Under these lines we see the radar located on the port side (I do not know if it is the one of exploration or the navigation, I can not distinguish one from the other), in the upper deck.


On the upper deck is also painted the ship’s numeral, P-74 , for identification from the air.


At the bow of the ship you can see the mechanisms of the two anchors that it carries, with chains of 50 meters, as told the sailor. To the right we see the position from which the anchors are handled.


In the bow the “Atalaya” has a small flight deck with capacity to operate medium or light helicopters, but without hangar to be able to do maintenance tasks.


The interior of the ship includes seafaring, non-commissioned officers and officers, commander’s cabin and a small hospital with six seats and a (small) room for first aid. The sailor told us that currently the crew includes a medical officer and three toilets, although the ship is not ready to carry out operations. I was especially struck by the fact that they keep a metopa with the sheath of the first projectile of 76 that fired the 76mm gun of the patrolman.

I do not want to finish these lines without thanking the excellent treatment and the hospitality that we received from the crew of the “Atalaya”. It is a tranquility that so good people are watching over the safety of our coasts and of the compatriots who go to sea.


I leave you here with the complete series of 42 photos that I uploaded to my Flickr account . A curiosity: in some photos you will see that there were rowing boats near the Naval Military School. These are the competitors of the children’s series of the Second Flag of Bateles de Marin, which was celebrated that day. The kids had to deal with a choppy sea …