Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF).

The deal with the Spanish shipbuilding company was finalised by the Saudi Ministry of Defense (MoD) and General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) during a ceremony.

The MOU was signed between Navantia CEO and chairman Ricardo Domínguez García-Baquero, Executive Affairs Assistant Defence Minister Dr Khaled bin Hussein Al-Bayari and GAMI Governor of Authority Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali.

The signing event was also attended by Saudi Arabia Defence Minister Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, along with other officials and dignitaries from Spain and Saudi Arabia.

According to García-Baquero, this MoU will see Navantia transferring the necessary technology to Saudi engineers to contribute to the country’s Vision 2030 endeavours.

The efforts aim to promote 100% localisation in terms of shipbuilding, technical capabilities, naval equipment and combat systems integration as well as ship maintenance.

The indigenous efforts will include design, engineering and development of the new combat vessels along with the integration of combat systems on the ships.

It also includes associated software development, prototyping, simulation, tests, systems verification, logistical support and training programme.

Khaled Al-Bayari said: “This event is of great importance to the MoD and a milestone in our cooperation with Navantia company, as it intends to boost the RSNF’s naval capabilities, improving joint operations among all security and military agencies, and developing a sustainable local military industries sector, while increasing transparency with spending efficiency.”

The new warships are being constructed to enhance the RSNF’s readiness to carry out maritime security missions in the region.

Navantia has also built five Avante 2200 corvettes for the RSNF.