Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has launched the fifth and final Avanti 2200 corvette it is building in the Bay of Cádiz for the Royal Saudi Navy.
The ship bears the name of Unayzah, honoring a city in the north of the country’s capital, and was launched in a ceremony on Saturday, December 4.
Now in the water, the corvette will continue fitting out, before it is finally handed over to Saudi Arabia in August 2023. Final works are expected to be completed in Saudi Arabia by February 2024.
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.
The five-ship program is being delivered 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 contract also includes logistics support, operational and maintenance training, and life-cycle support at Jeddah Naval Base in Saudi Arabia.