Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has launched Al-Jubail (hull number 828), the first of five Avante 2200 corvettes it is building for the Saudi Arabian Navy.
The July 22 launch at the San Fernando shipyard in Spain comes just days after Navantia started construction on the final unit in the class.
The ships are built by SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMINavantia), a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Navantia S.A. under a contract from July 2018.
The launching ceremony was attended by the commander of the Royal Saudi Navy, Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, Navantia president Susana de Sarriá and other military and government officials.
Al-Jubail entered the water a little over a year and a half after construction works started in January last year. The 104-meter ship will have a complement of 102 and a maximum speed of 27 knots. It will be able to spend 21 at sea before having to return to port for supplies.
The five corvettes, which were initially scheduled to complete deliveries by 2023, will be delivered a year later than planned, according to latest estimates. The ships are based on Navantia’s Avante design and will feature Catiz combat systems, Hermesys integrated communications, Dorna fire control systems, Minerva integrated bridges and engines and reduction gearboxes.
According to shipbuilder specifications, the design supports an 8-cell vertical launch system (VLS), surface-to-air missile launchers, a 76 mm main gun and torpedo launchers. The flight deck and hangar can accommodate a 10t-class helicopter.