Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia’s Navy

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Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia's Navy

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On July 22nd, 2020, at the shipyard of the Spanish shipbuilding association Navantia in San Fernando in Cadiz, the ceremony of launching the corvette Al Jubail, the lead of the five warships of the Avante 2200 project, built for the Saudi Arabian Navy, took place.

The ceremony was chaired by the Commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), H. E. Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily; by the Chairwoman of Navantia, Susana de Sarriá; by the Acting CEO of SAMI, Eng. Walid Abukhaled; and by the Admiral of Logistics Support Bay of Cadiz of Spanish Navy, Vice Admiral Ricardo A. Hernández López (Alardiz).

The Commander of RSNF highlighted the importance of AL SARAWAT Project, contracted to Navantia, as one of the largest capability-acquisition programs for the Saudi Navy, and that it reflects how important the partnership is between Saudi Arabia and Spain.

The Chairwoman of Navantia highlighted Navantia’s commitment to the RSNF to replicate the successful model implemented throughout many years with the Spanish Navy.

The contracts, worth about 2.5 billion euros, for the construction of five large corvettes of the Avante 2200 project for the Saudi Arabian Navy within the framework of the Saudi project Al Sarawat by the Navantia association were signed on April 12th, 2018. In regard to cost, this is the largest export contract in the history of the Spanish shipbuilding industry.

The delivery was delayed due to the Saudi-led coalition’s atrocities in Yemen. The atrocities continue, but it would appear that the West is gradually forgiving Riyadh, because it appears to be losing against the Houthis in Yemen.

According to the updated schedule, the lead ship is to be delivered to the Saudi side by the end of 2021, and the last one in 2024.

The Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has signed an agreement with Navantia to create a joint venture that will partially locally produce a number of electronic weapons systems for these corvettes in Saudi Arabia.

It will also install and integrate them on these ships and and other promising ships and boats of the Saudi fleet.

Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia's Navy

Click to see full-size image

Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia's Navy

Click to see full-size image

Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia's Navy

Click to see full-size image

The AL-JUBAIL has a length of 104 metres, a beam of 14 metres and will be able to accommodate 102 people (crew and additional personnel).

It will reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and, among other aspects, it has the capacity to carry 21 days’ supplies on board.

The corvettes are the latest generation of successful Navantia-designed combatants, and incorporate state-of-the-art Navantia products, such as the CATIZ Combat System, DORNA Gun Fire Control System, NAVCOMS/HERMESYS Integrated External and Internal Communications System, MINERVA Integrated Navigation and Bridge System, or COMPLEX-SIMPLEX Integrated Platform Management Platform.

This is all joined together with equipment manufactured by Navantia under license such as the Leonardo SUPER RAPID 76mm main gun, Rheinmetall Air Defence MILLENNIUM 35mm close-in weapon system, MTU propulsion engines and diesel generators, and RENK gearboxes.

“Specifically, it will suppose a global workload of around seven million hours that, translated into employment, will reach the figure of 6,000 jobs annually during the next 5 years. From these, more than 1,100 will be direct employees, more than 1,800 employees of the auxiliary industry Navantia and more than 3,000 indirect employees generated by other suppliers. There will be more than 100 auxiliary companies that collaborate in it.”

This is significant, since it could be a result of the COVID-19 hysteria and the shrinking economies that Saudi Arabia’s conduct is being forgotten in return for these obvious benefits and investments.

Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia's Navy

Click to see full-size image

Spain Launches First Of Fire Corvettes For Saudi Arabia's Navy

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