JEDDAH (Rahnuma) The Saudi Arabian Military Industries company (SAMI) and the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company have launched a joint venture to design and build five cutting-edge corvettes. SAMI and Navantia S.A. signed an agreement in April to create SAMI Navantia Naval Industries during a visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the Spanish capital of Madrid.
The venture will build five Avante 2200 corvettes and combat management systems for the vessels for the Saudi Ministry of Defense. A signing ceremony was held in Riyadh on Tuesday attended by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of SAMI, and the chairman of Navantia, Gonzalo Alcazar.
With a strategic emphasis on building local capacities, SAMI Navantia Naval Industries will focus on program management, naval combat system integration, system engineering and architecture, hardware design, software development, testing and verifica tion, prototyping, simulation, and modelling, in addition to the installation and integration of combat systems on the last two vessels of the Avante 2200 project, as well as logistical support and training programs.
The launch of this project comes in line with the crown prince’s announcement that 50 percent of the total military spending will be localized by 2030, and the new joint venture will contribute to maintaining the readiness of the Saudi military fleet. In addition, it will create jobs and training opportunities for Saudi nationals.
Alcazar said: “Navantia is proud to be the first company to sign a binding joint venture with SAMI. The creation of this partnership will allow both parties to develop opportunities, both in Saudi Arabia and internationally.” The final stage of the fourth and fifth corvettes will be developed in Saudi Arabia by the joint venture agreed by the two sides.
The Avante 2200 corvettes have been adapted to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces’ requirements, providing high-end performance, including excellent seaworthiness, high survivability, and the capability to operate in the extreme temperatures of the region, all within an optimized lifecycle cost.