Spanish state-owned shipbuilding firm Navantia has delivered the first of five Avante 2200-class corvettes to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).

The corvette was constructed at Navantia’s shipyard in the Bay of Cadiz.

Named HMS Al-Jubail, the corvette was handed over to the RSNF at a ceremony held at the Naval Base of La Carraca, in San Fernando, Cádiz, Spain.

HMS Al-Jubail was delivered in around three years since the cutting of its first steel plate in January 2019.

Over the last few months, the corvette has undertaken sea trials in the waters of the Bay of Cadiz.

The trials validated the functioning of the platform, as well as the other systems.

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Capable of carrying a total of 102 crew and passengers, HMS Al-Jubail has a length of 104m and a beam of 14m.

The contract for five corvettes came into force in November 2018.

Though based on the Avante 2200 design, the corvette is being adapted to the requirements of Saudi Arabia. Besides offering advanced performance at sea, it comes with the ability to operate in extreme temperatures such as in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf.

Around 500 crew members of these corvettes will finish the training process at the Navantia Training Centre (NTC) in San Fernando.

Last year, Navantia announced the launch of the RSNF’s third Avante 2200-class vessel.

Besides the corvettes contract, Navantia also agreed with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) for the creation of the joint venture, called SAMINavantia, to bolster defence programmes in Saudi Arabia.

Claimed to be ‘state-of-the art’, the design of the corvettes incorporates SAMINavantia developed products, such as the HAZEM combat system, HERMESYS integrated communications system, DORNA fire control system, the Integrated Platform Control System, and the MINERVA integrated bridge.

The corvettes also include other equipment developed by Navantia under licence, such as the MTU engines and the RENK gearboxes.

The contract, under which the last ship will be delivered in 2024, includes life cycle support for five years from the delivery of the first vessel, with an option for an additional five years.