The Saudi Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 23 January, the first two HSI32 high-speed interceptors have arrived at Royal Saudi Navy Ras Mishab naval base in the Gulf. HSI 32 is a fast interceptor vessel designed and built by French shipyard CMN, a part of Privinvest Shipbuilding Group, to conduct sea strike operations, search and rescue (SAR), maritime security, sea safety, convoy protection, sea policing, anti piracy, protection of offshore installations, control of illegal immigration, trafficking and smuggling. It was announced in April 2018 that 39 CMN boats will be delivered to the Royal Saudi Navy The value of the contract worth 480 million dollars for the construction of 39 HSI32 interceptors.
The HSI32 is a fast interceptor with high speed (45 knots) and range of 800 nautical miles (extended patrol period of 3 days) with a crew of only 12 sailors. This new advanced interceptor comes with a RHIB launching ramp at the stern and a 360° bridge. The vessel is fitted with self-defense capabilities including a 20 mm Nexter 20 mm Narwhal remotely operated weaponplus two 12.7 mm machine guns with a field of 360° coverage. The command and control (C2) system installed in the vessel ensures safe and efficient operation at sea. The vessel is also integrated with other mission systems such as radio direction finder, surveillance radar, navigation radar, and an electro-optical (EO) observation system.
The lightweight and agile Interceptor HSI 32 vessel is based on the hard chine Deep Vee planning hull, which provides high-speed navigation in planning mode. Its hull and superstructures are made of aluminium. The vessel is classified by Bureau Veritas classification society. The HSI 32 interceptor vessel’s propulsion system consists of three diesel engines, two main generators and three waterjets (two steering and one booster). The vessel can carry 21 m³ of fuel and 1 m³ of fresh water. The propulsion system provides a top speed of 53 knots. The vessel has a range of about 800nm at a speed of 12 kts and of 580 nm at 33 knots.
According to the agreement, 19 vessels are set to be built by CMN in Cherbourg, France, and the remaining 20 will be assembled at the facilities of Zamil Offshore Services in Saudi Arabia. Zamil Offshore Services was founded in 1977 as a 100% Saudi Company working in diversified business fields. It is primarily engaged in marine support for the Saudi company ARAMCO (Saudi Arabian Oil Company) providing technical fleet, port operations, ship repair. Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) is a French shipyard located at Cherbourg. It employs approximately four hundred employees covering the various specialities required for the construction of luxury yachts and naval ships.