The Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) has officially launched the first batch of its new Couach-class medium high-speed fast patrol boats.

According to a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report, the commissioning of the new patrol boats was marked by a ceremony held on 25 October.

It was attended by Western Fleet commander rear admiral Yahya bin Mohammed Asiri, LIG Nex1 International Business executive vice-president Hyun Soo Lee and Chantier Naval Couach’s CEO Dr Florent Battistella.

During the event, Asiri raised the flag over the new patrol boats to mark their entry into the service.

Asiri was quoted by SPA as saying: “These boats are a qualitative addition to the capabilities of RSNF, as they will contribute to raising the level of military and security readiness, strengthening the maritime security force in the region, and protecting the vital and strategic interests of the Kingdom, noting the constant care and unlimited support of the Saudi wise leadership and the Minister of Defence to develop the armed forces to serve the country.”

Constructed by France-based shipbuilding company Chantier Naval Couach, the new fast patrol boats (FPB)-2200 will provide increased maritime security and readiness to the country’s naval forces.

The SPA report said that the new vessels will primarily be deployed for conducting rapid intervention, maritime security missions and to safeguard RSNF’s installations.

The new FPBs are equipped with electronic warfare systems and navigation system to supportu a wide range of search, rescue, monitoring and tracking operations.

Earlier this year, the RSNF received its second of five vessels, named Al-Diriyah, from Navantia under the nation’s Avante 2200 programme.