Spanish shipbuilder, Navantia has launched the second Avante 2200 corvette Al Diriyah (830) for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) during a ceremony at its San Fernando shipyard on Nov. 14.
The event, which included teleconference, was attended by the Commander of the Saudi Navy Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily; President of Navantia, Belén Gualda; CEO of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) Walid Abukhaled; and Spanish Chief of Staff of the Navy (AJEMA) Teodoro López Calderón.
The corvette is named Al Diriyah in homage to the city from which the Saudi royal family comes, and which today is twinned with San Fernando.
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 program started in 2018 and the last vessel will be delivered in 2024. 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 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.
Navantia began construction of the first corvette, named Al Jubail (828), during a ceremony at the San Fernando shipyard, on Jan 15, 2019, with the keel of the vessel laid later that year. The ship’s launch took place on July 22, 2020. Navantia laid the keel for the third Saudi Avante 2200 corvette on August 6, 2020.
Saudi Avante 2200 Corvettes:
The new corvettes, based on Navantia’s Avante 2200 Combatant design, will be adapted to Royal Saudi Navy requirements offering advanced features, including behaviour at sea, high survival capacity and operating capacity at extreme temperatures in the area of the Gulf, all with an optimum life cycle cost.
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 have 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).
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.