A keel-laying ceremony held in Cadiz, Spain, has marked the start of assembly works on the Royal Saudi Navy’s first Avante 2200 corvette.
The ships are built by SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMINavantia), a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Navantia S.A.
The keel-laying milestone was achieved eight months after first steel for the project was cut.
A total of five units in the class are to be delivered by 2023.
“This project represents a proof of concept for His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s vision for the localization of 50% of military equipment spending by 2030,” Andreas Schwer, CEO of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), commented.
“By working together, SAMI and Navantia will boost the local content through the creation of thousands of highly skilled jobs in Saudi Arabia, accelerate the transfer of technology, and contribute to the Kingdom’s ambitious goals of building the indigenous military and defense industries.”
In addition to the construction of the vessels, the Avante 2200 project will encompass Life Cycle Support for five years from the delivery of the first vessel, with an option for an additional five years.
SAMINavantia will provide Combat System Integration (CSI) and installation as part of a contract worth over €900 million signed at DSEI 2019 in September. The joint venture is also responsible for system engineering and architecture; hardware design; software development, testing and verification; prototyping, simulation and modeling; and the delivery of logistical support and training programs.
The five Avante 2200 corvettes are being specially adapted to meet RSNF requirements, including the capability to operate in the extreme temperatures found in the region. The multirole vessel is designed specifically for surveillance and maritime control, search and rescue, and providing assistance to other vessels during missions.
According to shipbuilder specifications, the Avante 2200 vessels measure 98.9 meters in length, displace 2,500 tons and have a crew capacity of 92. Further, the vessels can accommodate a 10t class helicopter and can deploy two 5.5m RHIBs.
The corvettes will feature Navantia’s Catiz combat systems, Hermesys integrated communications, Dorna fire control systems, Minerva integrated bridges and engines and reduction gearboxes.