Navantia signs MOU to deliver more Saudi naval vessels

by Jeremy Binnie

Al-Jubail , the first of five corvettes Navantia is building for the RSNF, arrives at the King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah on 25 August. (SAMI)

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering the design and construction of additional combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) on 30 November.

Both organisations released statements describing the new vessels as multimission combat ships. While GAMI did not give a number, the Spanish version of Navantia's release said the MOU would result in a contract being awarded in 2023 to build five ships.

Navantia is building five Al-Jubail-class corvettes for the RSNF based on its Avante 2200 design, the third of which is scheduled to be handed over on 4 December.

GAMI said Navantia had agreed to localise up to 100% of shipbuilding, maintenance, and combat systems integration in line with Saudi Arabia's policy of localising 50% of its defence spending by 2030.

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Scottish shipyards seek more clarity over future naval ship orders

by Kate Tringham

The decision to award the FSS programme to the international consortium ‘Team Resolute' is seen an example of a shift in the UK government's approach to warship procurement. (Team Resolute)

A UK parliamentary select committee has said that the lack of certainty across the whole of the government's 30-year shipbuilding pipeline could jeopardise the future prosperity of Scottish naval shipyards.

Published on 27 January, the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC) report, Defence in Scotland: military shipbuilding , said that Scottish shipyards needed a more dependable drumbeat of orders in order to invest and grow.

While the SAC report acknowledged recent successes for the Scottish military shipbuilding sector, such as the contract awards for the Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates and the Type 31 general-purpose frigates, it noted that the UK government's approach to procuring warships has shifted in recent years, and it was no longer a given that warships would be designed and built fully in the UK.

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Pakistan receives second modernised Khalid-class submarine

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A file image of PNS Saad , one of the Pakistan Navy's three Khalid-class submarines. The service recently took delivery of another modernised boat, PNS Khalid , from STM. Another vessel, PNS Hamza , completed its modernisation programme with STM in 2021. (Naval Group)

The Pakistan Navy has received its second modernised Khalid (Agosta 90B)-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) from Turkish company STM.

The vessel, PNS Khalid , was handed over to the service with a new suite of sonars, periscopes, and command-and-control systems, STM disclosed via a media statement on 25 January.

The Pakistan Navy operates a fleet of three Khalid-class SSKs that were commissioned between September 1999 and September 2008.

First-of-class Khalid was built by Naval Group (then known as DCN) in Cherbourg, France. The second and third vessels, PNS Saad and PNS Hamza , were constructed by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) under a technology transfer arrangement.

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Fincantieri launches LPD for Qatar

by Jeremy Binnie

The Qatari LPD Al Fulk in the dry dock at Fincantieri's Palermo yard before its launch on 24 January. (Fincantieri)

Fincantieri launched the landing platform dock (LPD) amphibious assault ship it is building for Qatar at its shipyard in Palermo on 24 January, confirming it is equipped with vertical launch systems (VLSs).

Photographs of Al Fulk (L 141) show a box for the VLS has been attached to the ship's starboard side close to the end of the flight deck that looks sufficiently deep to accommodate the MBDA Aster 30 long-range surface-to-air missile.

A model displayed at the DIMDEX show held in Qatar in March 2018 showed 16 VLS cells located behind the ship's superstructure on the starboard side, although this was moved to its actual position for a model displayed during DIMDEX 2022.

Al Fulk

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Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) sig...

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