Navantia, in collaboration with the Saudi Arabian Military Industries, achieves a milestone in naval defence technology by commissioning the fifth corvette, HMS Unayzah, to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.

Navantia, the Spanish shipbuilder, celebrated as it delivered the fifth and final corvette, HMS Unayzah, to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. The commissioning ceremony was presided over by top Saudi defence officials.

In his address, Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, chief of staff of Royal Saudi Naval Forces, highlighted the technology of the corvette, emphasising its role in meeting national mandates and enhancing combat readiness. The localisation efforts undertaken in Saudi Arabia, spearheaded by the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), have played a role in achieving this milestone, aligning with the ambitious goals outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.

The corvette, built under the Al-Sarawat project, has capabilities tailored to meet the Kingdom’s strategic interests and maintain regional maritime security. Its integration of combat systems and successful trials conducted in Saudi Arabia exemplifies the collaboration between Navantia and SAMI.

The Saudi Arabian Navy is replacing its four Badr-class corvettes, acquired in the early 1980s. According to GlobalData’s intelligence on the Saudi Arabian defence market, the country’s expansive procurement plans make it a favourable export destination for foreign manufacturers. 

The Avante 2200 design, adapted to the requirements of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, offers performance, survivability, and operational flexibility. The corvettes were delivered in record time.

The joint venture aims to position Navantia’s integrated systems and solutions in the Arab market, fostering long-term collaboration and technological exchange.

Navantia will capture a 16.8% share of the naval vessels and surface combatants market in the Middle East, with forecast revenue of $4bn over 2023–33, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023-2033” report. 

Beyond the Middle Eastern market, Navantia Australia, along with Austal and Civmec, has joined forces to propose the Tasman-class corvettes, addressing Australia’s need for enhanced naval strike capabilities. 

The commissioning ceremony, attended by dignitaries and industry leaders, symbolises the culmination of years of collaboration. As Navantia looks ahead, the delivery of HMS Unayzah marks a technological milestone but is also a testament to the partnership between Spain and Saudi Arabia in naval defence.

Navantia, the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company, launched the final Avante 2200 corvettes in December 2021. Indra, another Spanish defence supplier, also signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to supply electronic warfare (EW) detection systems for the Avante 2200 corvettes, further solidifying Spain’s role in supporting Saudi Arabia’s naval defence capabilities.

Navantia and SAMI reaffirm their commitment to advancing naval capabilities and strengthening defence cooperation between Spain and Saudi Arabia as the fifth corvette sets sail. With the successful completion of the Al-Sarawat project, both nations look forward to continued collaboration in pursuing maritime security and technology.