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Saudi Arabia commissions third Avante corvette in Spain after signing MOU for combat ships

Royal Saudi Navy corvette Hail commissioning ceremony
Photo: Navantia

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia hosted the handover and commissioning ceremony for the Royal Saudi Navy’s third Avante 2200 corvette at the Bay of Cádiz yard on Sunday.

RSNF Hail (pennant number 832) is the final ship that will be delivered from Spain. The last two units will be handed over in Saudi Arabia.

Navantia delivered the corvette after cutting first steel in September 2019 and launching the ship in March 2021.

At the ceremony, Spanish industry minister Reyes Maroto pointed out that “the delivery of this corvette marks a new milestone in relations between our two countries, which have been strengthened in recent years thanks to the trust of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The handover ceremony follows the signing of a memorandum earlier this week that would see Navantia work with the Saudi General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) on the delivery of multiple multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Navy.

The signed MoU aims to promote Saudi Arabia’s localization of up to 100% in the field of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems and ship maintenance. It will also concentrate on the integration of combat systems into new ships, systems design and engineering, hardware design, software development, testing, verification systems, prototyping and simulation, logistical support, and training program design.

Navantia has already launched the final of the 104-meter ships and is expected to complete deliveries under the program by the end of 2023.

The Avante 2200 corvettes are based on Navantia’s Avante design and 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.