SAMI Navantia Naval Industries (SAMI-Navantia) has signed a partnership agreement worth SAR3.7bn ($985.5m) with Navantia to jointly work on the integration of combat system into Saudi Navy’s future corvettes.

The contract was signed by officials from both parties at the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019 exhibition in London.

The partnership will cover Combat System Integration (CSI) on five Avante 2200 corvettes being built for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).

Under the agreement, SAMI-Navantia and Navantia will also work on other aspects such as system engineering and architecture, hardware design, software ‎development, as well as testing and verification.

The collaboration will include simulation, prototyping, modelling, logistical support and training.

SAMI-Navantia is a joint venture (JV) between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. Last year, SAMI and Navantia formed the JV for the design and construction of five AVANTE 2200 corvettes for RSNF.

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The contract will contribute to the local economy and defence industry in Saudi Arabia by creating new jobs and delivering other benefits, SAMI stated.

It will support the Saudi Government’s efforts to localise half of total military spending by 2030.

SAMI-Navantia CEO Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan said: “This new partnership agreement represents a landmark achievement for SAMI-Navantia as we embark on a historic journey with the objective of realising Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to localise the Kingdom’s military and defence industries.

“This creates an excellent opportunity to capitalise on our strategic partner’s extensive experience in the design, construction, and integration of warships to build our own capabilities in the domain.”

The multi-role corvettes will support surveillance and maritime control, as well as search and rescue missions.

AVANTE 2200 can also be used for intelligence gathering, electronic warfare, and anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-surface warfare capabilities.