Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia has commenced sea trials of the first of five Avante 2200 corvettes being built for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).

Known as ‘NB 546 Al-Jubail’, the vessel was launched in July last year.

Al-Jubail is conducting sea trials in the Bay of Cádiz waters. It will ensure the correct operation of all its systems.

The trials are divided into two periods and would last for a duration of two months.

The current trial period will take place for 14 days and will see the participation of nearly 140 people, with 40 of them being engineers.

Upon the completion of these trials, Al-Jubail will have its combat system installed before the ship’s delivery.

The RSNF is expected to receive the ship within five months.

In 2018, the Government of Saudi Arabia awarded a €1.8bn ($2.1bn) contract to Navantia to build five Avante 2200 corvettes for the RSNF.

Construction on the corvettes commenced in San Fernando shipyard in January 2019 and deliveries are expected to be completed by 2024.

The Avante 2200 corvette is a multirole vessel that can support surveillance and maritime control, as well as search and rescue missions.

It has an overall length of 104m, a beam of 14m, and a design draught of 3.8m. With a full load displacement of roughly 2,470t, the ship can provide accommodation for up to 102 people.

Vessels under the Avante 2200 programme will have a maximum speed of 27k.

The corvette project is expected to create approximately 6,000 direct and indirect jobs a year for five years.

In March, Navantia launched the third of the five Avante 2200 corvettes.