Northrop Grumman Corporation redelivered the first of two modernized Lupo-class frigates to the Venezuelan Navy on May 16. The ships, Mariscal Sucre (F-21), and Almirante Brion (F-22), arrived in Pascagoula in January 1998 to undergo extensive modernization and upgrade. F-22 will be redelivered this summer.
The 2,500 DWT frigate is 372 ft. (112.8 M) long with a beam of 53 ft. (15.9 M) and a draft of 22 ft. (6.5 M). The ship's propulsion is supplied by two 35,000 HP gas turbine engines and/or two diesel engines and can power the ship to a top speed of 36 knots. With the modernization, berthing space was reduced from 182 to a crew of131.
"It is important to point out the good working relationship between Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls
Operations and the Venezuelan Navy during the performance of this modernization contract," said Venezuelan Director of Naval Logistics Adm. Carlos Alberto Millan Millan, who was in command of the frigate four years ago when the ship arrived at Ingalls. "As the Venezuelan Navy's newest flagship, our increased combat capability and sophisticated technology will place it ahead of all other ships in its class and place our Navy as the spearhead of all navies of Latin America
The crew for F-21, which arrived earlier this month, will continue with two more weeks of onboard training. The Mariscal Sucre is scheduled for departure at the end of May.
"Our Navy leaders had a vision to conceive this project four years ago to create a new stage in the life of this ship for the security and defense of the country," said Cmdr. Hernandez. "The dedication and effort of the shipbuilders at Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems have made the modernization of this ship a reality."