Germany’s Bremen-based dockyard, Luerssen, has reportedly commenced construction of 15 patrol vessels for Saudi Arabia amidst global condemnation of the Middle East country’s public executions.
Earlier this month, Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, together with three other Shiites and 43 members who were suspected of being affiliated to Al Qaeda, were executed.
Following this, reports emerged that the German Government would cancel a €1.5bn deal with Saudi Arabia, and impose a ban on military exports to the country.
However, according to German news-site Ostsee-Zeitung, the German Federal Ministry of Economics has confirmed commencement of the production of an arms-export contract with Saudi Arabia.
A representative of Wolgast, the city where the shipyard is located, argued that the vessels were "not war technology in a traditional sense" but aimed at protecting the nation’s coastal region.
The TNC 35 patrol boats to be procured under the current contract are 35m-long vessels, propelled by two diesel engines with a combined output of 7.800kW, reaching a speed of up to 40k.
The FPB 38 patrol boats are 38m-long and can achieve a speed of up to 31k.
Last year, the German Federal Security Council approved several military equipment deals in the Gulf region, including the supply of two battle tanks to Qatar and Oman.
In 2011, Saudi Arabia reportedly procured 200 Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks from Germany.