Spanish shipbuilding and systems group Navantia (Stand B-027) has begun manufacture of the first of five new multimission corvettes for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces RSNF), which were contracted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in July 2018, valued at €1.8 billion.
The order represents the company’s largest-ever export success. Steel cutting for the first of class was undertaken on 15 January during a ceremony at Navantia’s San Fernando shipyard near Cadiz.
The first plate of the ship belongs to Block 401.
A derivative of Navantia’s Avante 2200 design adapted to RSNF requirements, the new corvettes will embody a number of Navantia-supplied equipments. These include the Cadiz combat management system, the Hermesys integrated communications suite, the Dorna weapon control system, the Minerva integrated bridge system, and a proprietary integrated platform and machinery system. Navantia is also providing engines and reduction gearboxes.
Delivery of the last of the five ships is scheduled by the end of 2022. The contract also includes life-cycle support for five years from the delivery of the first ship (plus an option for a further five years of support), operator and maintainer training, and the delivery of combat system and platform system trainers, and tools/ infrastructure to support base maintenance in Saudi Arabia.
Alongside the delivery of the five corvettes, Navantia is also establishing a joint venture with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI). According to the company, the alliance with SAMI provides “an exceptional opportunity for Navantia to position its integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions in the Arab market and area of influence”.