Navantia delivered Sunday to the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) the third of five corvettes built in its shipyards in the Bay of Cadiz (Spain), construction 548, named HAIL, in an act held at the San Fernando facilities. The commissioning of the two next corvettes will take place in Saudi Arabia.
The delivery ceremony was attended by the Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Force, Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily; the Spanish Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, Mrs. Reyes Maroto; the president of Navantia, Mr. Ricardo Domínguez and SAMI Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mohammad Alkahtani.
The Mayoress of San Fernando, Mrs. Patricia Cavada; the ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Spain, Azzam bin Abdulkarim al Qain; the Director of the National Security Department, Miguel Ángel Ballesteros; the chief of Procurement (DiGAM) of the Ministry of Defense, Aniceto Rosique; and the Chief Admiral of Logistical Support (AJAL) of the Spanish Navy, Ricardo Hernández, among other authorities have also taken part in the event.
Navantia has delivered HMS HAIL to the Royal Saudi Navy three years after cutting its first steel (September 2019), thus meeting both the demanding quality requirements and deadlines. HAIL is one of the most competitive and capable vessels in its segment, as proved in the sea trials carried out in the waters of the Bay of Cádiz.
During the event, carried out according to military protocol, a Joint Inspection Commission (RSNF and Navantia) has boarded the corvette to carry out the mandatory inspection. Upon completion, the ship's flag was raised, after which RSNF transferred command of the corvette to the Commanding Officer for HMS HAIL. The President of Navantia presented Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily the ship's bell as an institutional gift.
Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily highlighted that “this is one of the most glorious and historic moments for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces when His Majesty Ship HAIL raises the Saudi flag for the first time and commences her long and faithful service to the nation”. “HMAS HAIL, as the rest of her class, was designed and built to be one of the most technologically advanced and powerful corvettes to meet national mandates in realization of Saudi Vision 2030”.
He stated that Alsarawat project “has emerged as the largest corporation in terms of defense industry between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Spain, contributing to the expansion of the strategic relationship between both countries. Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily praised Navantia’s commitment with the project, as well as PMO organization, Spanish Navy and other collaborators.”
At the ceremony, the Minister of Industry of Spain, Mrs. Reyes Maroto, pointed out that “the commissioning of this corvette marks a new milestone in the relationship between our two countries, which have been reinforced in recent years thanks to the trust that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has placed in state owned company Navantia”. “The MoU signed this week strengthens this trust and is a very important step for Navantia’s shipyards in the Bay of Cadiz”.
The President of Navantia, Mr. Ricardo Dominguez, thanked all the participants and workers of the programme. “It is thanks to your work that Navantia’s name is known around the world,” he said, while commending the support oy Spanish Navy and Government.
He also stated that with Avante 2200 program, Navantia is proving that it can “deliver state-of-the-art complex ships within strict deadlines and with the highest standards of quality, while transferring technology and providing advanced services”. “Fulfilling this highly technological programme has undoubtedly been a determining factor in renewing the client's confidence”, he added.
SAMI CTO Mohammad Alkahtani has emphasized that “this is a great day for the two countries, it culminates the strong collaboration between the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and its partner: Navantia, SAMI and SAMINavantia who are building capabilities in Saudi Arabia to support the RSNF needs”.
Finally, Navantia’s director of Corvettes and Maritime Action Vessel, José Antonio Rodríguez Poch, emphasized the important support of the Spanish Navy to the programme and highlighted the historical milestone of delivering three ships in one year, commending the hard work of all the participants in the program.
AVANTE 2200 PROGRAM
The corvette HAIL has a length of 104 meters, a beam of 14 and seating for a total of 102 people between crew and passengers. The contract for the construction of five corvettes entered into force in November 2018 and, since the launch of the first unit (July 2020), Navantia has already launched the five units with a period of four months between each one of them, which means achieving this milestone in a record time of three years. Deliveries are taking place after just over three years from the cutting of the first plate of each ship.
The corvettes are based on the AVANTE 2200 design, adapted to the requirements of the RSNF, offering advanced performance, excellent work at sea, high survivability, and ability to operate in extreme temperatures.
Concurrently, around 500 crew members of these corvettes are completing the education and training process at the Navantia Training Center (NTC) in San Fernando.
In addition to the corvette contract, Navantia agreed with SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries) to create a joint venture in Saudi Arabia, an alliance that allows Navantia to position its integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions in the Arab market and area of influence and is aligned with the company's internationalization strategy.
The contract assumes a global workload of around seven million hours and 6,000 jobs over five years. Of these, more than 1,100 are direct employees, more than 1,800 collaborating industry employees (more than a hundred companies participate at the programme) and more than 3,000 indirect employees generated by other suppliers.
The program includes, in addition to construction, the Life Cycle Support for five years from the delivery of the first ship, with an option for another five additional years, the last ship of which must be delivered in 2024.
It also includes the provision of various services, such as integrated logistics support, operational and maintenance training, provision of Education and Training Centres for the Combat System and Platform Control System of ships, Life Cycle Support, and ship maintenance systems at the Jeddah Naval Base.
Navantia is a world leader in the design, construction, and integration of military ships with a high technological component, intended for both the Spanish Navy and the international market, which makes it a strategic company. Its lines of activity include the design and manufacture of combat systems and command and control systems, integrated platform control systems, fire directions, propulsion plants and life cycle support. With its commitment to diversification and renewable energies, it has also become a relevant player in the field of offshore wind power.
Navantia belongs to the SEPI Group, a holding business that encompasses 15 public companies with direct and majority participation, with more than 78,000 professionals. (Photo © Navantia)