Spanish shipbuilder Navantia delivered this Sunday to the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF) the third of five corvettes built in its shipyards in the Bay of Cadiz, 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. Navantia has delivered HMS HAIL to the Royal Saudi Navy three years after cutting its first steel, 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 por HMS HAIL.
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 Defence, 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. The president of Navantia presented Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily the ship’s bell as an institutional gift.
Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily has 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 ang 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 emerges as the largest corporation in terms of defence 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.
The Avante 2000 is a corvette design by the Navantia shipyard of Spain. Navantia has developed a Avante family of ships with different sizes but adapted to different missions and sharing the same design standard. Navantia integrated multiple systems, including its Catiz combat management system, Hermesys integrated communications system, Dorna fire-control system and Minerva integrated bridge system. In July 2018 it was announced that Navantia had signed an agreement with the Royal Saudi Navy for the production of five Avante 2000 corvettes with the last to be delivered by 2022 at a cost of approximately 2 billion Euros. Navantia signed a joint-venture agreement with state-owned Saudia Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) to build five corvettes based on Avante 2000 for Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF). Under the agreement, the last vessel must be delivered in 2024, including construction, Life Cycle Support for five years, with an option for another five years. The RSNF variant is called Avante 2200.