SAN FERNANDO (CÁDIZ), 4 Dec. (EUROPE PRESS) -
Navantia has delivered this Sunday to the Royal Saudi Navy the third of the five corvettes built in its shipyards that the company has in the Bay of Cádiz, named Hail, in an act held at the Navantia facilities in San Fernando. The delivery took place at the shipyard dock in an act that began with the anthems of Saudi Arabia and Spain.
The delivery ceremony of construction 548, named Hail, was attended by the commander of the Saudi Navy, Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily; the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto; the president of Navantia, Ricardo Domínguez; and the mayoress of San Fernando, Patricia Cavada; and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of SAMI, Mohammad Alkhatani, among other guests.
In a note, Navantia has explained that during the event, carried out in accordance with military protocol, a mixed inspection commission, made up of members of the Royal Saudi Navy and Navantia, has boarded the corvette to carry out the mandatory inspection. Upon completion, the ship's flag was raised, after which the Royal Saudi Navy transferred command of the corvette to the commander of Hail. The president of Navantia has given Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily the ship's bell as an institutional gift.
At the ceremony, the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, pointed out that the delivery of this corvette "marks a new milestone in the relations between our two countries", reinforced "in recent years thanks to the confidence of Saudi Arabia in the company public Navantia". "The memorandum signed this week reinforces this confidence and is a very important step to guarantee the workload in the Navantia shipyards in Spain, especially in San Fernando, for the next few years," Maroto pointed out.
The president of Navantia, Ricardo Domínguez, has highlighted that the Avante 2200 program has been a milestone for Navantia, "which is demonstrating that it can design, build and deliver state-of-the-art complex ships with the highest quality standards and within demanding deadlines, with technology transfer and providing advanced services". In addition, he thanked the Navantia staff and the auxiliary industry for "their good work", because it is their work "that bears the good name of Navantia throughout the world", and he had words of gratitude for the Navy, the Ministry of Defense "for their support" and the Government and the Minister of Industry "for their involvement".
Vice Admiral Al-Ghofaily stressed that the raising of the Saudi flag on the Hail corvette is a "glorious and historic" moment and that the ship, like the whole of its class, "has been designed and built to be one of the most powerful and technologically advanced to fulfill the Kingdom Vision 2030". In addition, he stressed that the program "is the largest collaboration in terms of the defense industry" between Saudi Arabia and Spain. The vice admiral has praised the commitment of Navantia, which has put "its best shipbuilding resources" to achieve this goal, as well as all the participants in the program, both from Saudi Arabia and Spain, and the Navy.
The CTO of SAMI has indicated that "today is a great day for both countries, a day that culminates the intense collaboration between the Royal Saudi Arabian Navy and its partners, Navantia, SAMI and SAMINavantia, which are building capacities in Saudi Arabia to support the needs of your Royal Navy".
The director of Navantia's Corvettes and Maritime Action Ships Business, José Antonio Rodríguez Poch, highlighted the important support of the Spanish Navy for the program, as well as "the historic milestone" that involves the delivery of three ships in one year. For this reason, he has praised the work of the entire team, "the workers, the Saudi Navy, the Spanish Navy and the auxiliary industry."
Navantia has delivered the Hail corvette to the Royal Saudi Navy three years after cutting its first sheet metal, in September 2019, thus meeting both the demanding quality requirements and deadlines. It is one of the most competitive and capable vessels in its segment, as has been demonstrated in the sea trials carried out in the waters of the Bay of Cádiz.
The Hail corvette has a length of 104 meters, a beam of 14 and is capable of transporting a total of 102 people between crew and passengers. The contract for the construction of five corvettes entered into force in November 2018 and, since the first unit was launched (in July 2020), Navantia launched the five units with a cadence of four months between each one of them. them, which meant achieving this milestone in a record time of three years. Deliveries are taking place after just over three years from the cutting of the first plate of each ship.
The corvettes are based on the Avante 2200 design, adapted to the requirements of Saudi Arabia, offering advanced features, excellent seakeeping, high survivability and ability to operate at extreme temperatures.
In parallel, around 500 crew members of these corvettes are completing the training process at the Navantia Training Center (NTC) in San Fernando.