Navantia strengthens its position on the Saudi Arabian naval market
On 12 April, during Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz’s visit to Spain, Navantia signed an agreement with Saudi Arabian company SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries) for the creation of a Joint Venture (JV).
This JV will help deliver the five Navantia AVANTE 2200 corvettes the Saudi Arabian government committed to acquiring the same day, to be used by the Royal Saudi Navy (RSN). It will be the supplier and integrator of the combat systems for the future contracts of naval programmes in Saudi Arabia.
Navantia’s President, Esteban García Vilasánchez, has expressed his satisfaction in this JV as well as for the clear commitment for the construction of five Avante 2200 corvettes. “The agreement signed between the two government demonstrates this commitment and further encourages the early signing of this contract,” he said.
With a displacement of 2,500t, the AVANTE 2200 combatant is closer to the frigate than the corvette; however, with its cruising speed range of 5,000nm (approximately 9,200km), its flight deck and hangar for 10t class helicopters (such as the popular NH-90) and capacity to carry two 5.5m rigid hull inflatable boats (with crane recovery and deployment), it is perfectly suited for the kind of environment the RSN usually operates in. Specific details of the design of the future RSN AVANTE 2200 are not yet know.
Navantia indicates that the construction of the five corvettes will have a high impact on the economy and employment, since it is estimated that during five years it will employ about 6,000 direct and indirect workers annually. More than 1,100 of them will be direct employees, more than 1,800 employees of the IIAA of Navantia and more than 3,000 indirect employees generated by other suppliers.