Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia has begun construction of the first Avante 2200 corvette ordered by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) during a ceremony at the San Fernando shipyard, on Jan 15.
The ceremony was attended by delegations from the Spanish and Saudi Arabian Navies, led by the second Chief of Navy, Admiral Jose Luis Urcelay and Rear-admiral Fahad Ali Alfuraidan, respectively. The ceremony consisted of cutting the first plate of the vessel, belonging to block 401 of the engine room, with dimensions of 12 x 2.4 meters, a thickness of 7 millimeters and a weight of 1,254 kilograms.
The president of Navantia, Susana de Sarriá, stressed that “it is a strategic program for Navantia, which in addition to boosting economic activity and employment, positions us internationally as a company that contributes to Security and Defense. It also puts on the showcase a ship of high capabilities that can meet the needs of other potential customers in this region of the world and other points of interest. ”
The contract for the construction of five Avante 2200 corvettes was signed between Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Navantia last year, for €1.8 billion. The deal represented the largest in the history of Spanish public shipyards with a foreign client.
The contract will involve a global workload of around seven million hours for the shipyards of Bahía de Cádiz, Ría de Ferrol and Cartagena and its auxiliary industry.
The program started last year and the last vessel will be delivered in 2022. In addition, Navantia will be responsible for life cycle support for five years, from the delivery of the first vessel, with an option for an additional five years.
The new corvettes, based on Navantia’s Avante 2200 Combatant design, will be adapted to Royal Saudi Navy requirements offering advanced features, including behavior at sea, high survival capacity and operating capacity at extreme temperatures in the area of the Gulf, all with an optimum life cycle cost.
Venezuelan Navy already operates four ocean patrol vessels (Spanish: Patrullero Oceánico de Vigilancia de la Zona Económica Exclusiva, POVZEE) based on Avante 2200 Combatant design known in Venezuelan service as Guaiquerí-class. In comparison with the Venezuelan vessels, the Saudi corvettes will be heavily armed and more multirole.
The design of the corvettes is state-of-the-art, maximizing at the same time the participation of Navantia incorporating its own products such as the CATIZ combat system, the HERMESYS integrated communications system, the DORNA firing direction, the Integrated Platform Control System, (IPCS) the MINERVA integrated bridge and motors and gearboxes.
The corvettes has a displacement of over 2,500 tons, a hull length of 98.9 m and a maximum speed of 25 knots. The vessel has a crew complement of 92.
They can accommodate a 10t class helicopter and can deploy two 5.5m Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB).
The contract also includes the supply of various services such as integrated logistic support, operational and maintenance training, supply of Training and Training Centers for the Combat System and Platform Control System for ships, Support for Life Cycle, and the systems for the maintenance of the ships in the Naval Base.