Saudi Arabia celebrates launch of new warship

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The Al Jubail is the first of five ships being built in Spain

A general view of a corvette during its launching maneuver at a shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. This is the first out of five corvettes that have been built by Spanish company Navantia in order to be sent to Arabia Saudi's Navy (RSNF). EPA

A corvette is silhouetted during its launching maneuver at a shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. EPA

Several employees irrigate a corvette during its launching maneuver at a shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. EPA

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chairing a virtual meeting from his headquarters at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. EPA

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz attends a cabinet meeting via video call from Kind Faisal Hospital, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. REUTERS

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The National

July 23, 2020

July 23, 2020

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The Saudi Royal Navy is celebrating the launch of its first new Avante 2200 corvette warship in Spain.

Commander of the Saudi Navy, Lt Col Fahad Al Ghafili attended the launch of the Al Jubail made by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia. It is the first of five ordered by Riyadh at a cost of $2.1 billion.

Other Saudi officials, as well as executives from Navantia, joined the ceremony to launch the Al Jubail.

The 98.9-metre Avante 2200 is designed as a surveillance and protection vessel suited for ship-to-ship fighting as well as anti-air, electronic warfare, maritime protection, search and rescue, humanitarian aid, pollution control and anti-smuggling operations. It can carry a crew of 111 and can launch and recover helicopters from a rear flight deck.

The Al Jubail is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2021 once the final fit-out and tests have been completed. The other four vessels are expected by 2024 – a year later than planned.

The ships are being built under a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and Navantia that is expected to help develop the kingdom’s domestic defence industry, provide jobs and improve training.

Updated: July 23, 2020 06:17 PM

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