Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has launched the third of five Avante 2200 corvettes it is building for the Royal Saudi Navy (RSNF).
The corvette Hail (pennant number 832) was launched at the company’s Bay of Cádiz shipyard on March 28.
The 104-meter ship was launched a few days ahead of schedule to avoid unfavorable weather conditions forecasted for the next few days. Navantia will continue work on Hail until December 2022, when the ship is scheduled for delivery to the customer.
Navantia is expected to deliver all five ships to Saudi Arabia by 2023. The first unit, Al-Jubail (pennant number 828), hit the water in July 2020, and the second ship, Al Diriyah (pennant number 830), followed suit in November last year. 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 ships had initially been planned for delivery by 2023. According to latest estimates, they will be delivered a year later than planned.
The corvettes are based on Navantia’s Avante design and will feature Catiz combat systems, Hermesys integrated communications, Dorna fire control systems, and 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.
The armament that has been confirmed for the RSNF configuration includes Oto Melara 76 mm guns and Oerlikon Millennium close-in weapon systems.