• The latest Royal Saudi Naval Forces corvette NB 547 AL DIRIYAH was launched on the 14th November 2020.
• The event was streamed live from Navantia’s shipyard in Spain to Saudi Arabia where the ribbon was cut.
• Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted this program as strategic and expressed the desire for further collaboration between both countries.
Navantia has launched today the second of the five corvettes for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, named AL-DIRIYAH, in homage to the city where the Saudi royal family has its origins. The event, which included telematic interventions, was presided over by the Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, H.E. Vice Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily; by the Navantia President, Belén Gualda González; by the Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company (SAMI), Walid Abukhaled; and by the Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy, Admiral General Teodoro López Calderón. In addition, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya has been especially involved in the event with a final intervention in which she highlighted the commitment of the Spanish Government to this program and the desire for further collaboration between both countries.
The ceremony began with a welcome from the Navantia San Fernando shipyard Director, Javier Herrador del Río, followed by a recitation of the Quran by the Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, continued with a video about the city of Diriyah (from which the ship takes its name), and a video from Navantia on the preparations for the launching of the ship. After that, the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Spain preceded the speeches from the authorities from both nations.
The Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces thanked Navantia and the Spanish Navy, in particular the training of personnel in Spain to provide a qualified crew capable of operating and maintaining the ships. The Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy highlighted the commitment of the Spanish Navy in this program, which involves a high-quality training beyond the construction phase.
SAMI’s Chief Executive Officer expressed his appreciation for the support of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in making it possible for the corvette Al Diriyah and the other corvettes to be equipped with the first Saudi Combat Management System.
Navantia’s President thanked the team that has been working hard on this program, both in Spain and in Saudi Arabia, and expressed her commitment towards the successful completion of this program, and in collaborating with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces in future programs.
Then the Commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces cut the ribbon from Saudi Arabia and the corvette AL-DIRIYAH slid down the slipway and touched the water for the first time.
The corvette AL-DIRIYAH is 104 meters long, has a breadth of 14 m, and will be able to transport a total of 102 people including crew and passengers. It will reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and, among other things, she has the capacity to carry provisions on board for 21 days.
The corvette’s state-of-the-art design provides it with capabilities similar to a light frigate. The design incorporates the HAZEM combat system, a derivative of Navantia’s CATIZ combat system, which is the first Saudi Combat System developed by the SAMI-Navantia Joint Venture. Other capabilities include a DORNA Gun Fire Control System, NAVCOMS/HERMESYS Integrated External and Internal Communications System, MINERVA Integrated Navigation and Bridge System, and COMPLEX-SIMPLEX Integrated Platform Management Platform, together with equipment manufactured by Navantia under license such as the Leonardo SUPER RAPID 76mm main gun, Rheinmetall Air Defence MILLENNIUM 35mm close-in weapon system, MTU propulsion engines and diesel generators, and RENK gearboxes.
The contract includes the supply of several services such as: Integrated Logistic Support; Operational and Maintenance Training; Supply of Training and Education Centers for the Combat System and Platform Control System of the ships; systems for the maintenance of the ships in the Jeddah Naval Base; and Life Cycle Support for five years following the delivery of the first vessel, with an option for another five years.
This program is a demonstration also of Navantia’s commitment to the principles of localization and sovereign capability rooted in Vision 2030. The last two corvettes will be finalized and delivered in the Kingdom, where Navantia has a permanent presence through its subsidiary Navantia KSA. The SAMI-Navantia Joint Venture holds the ambition of making the HAZEM combat system across the Saudi fleet, with potential also in the export market.
This contract, with strict compliance with delivery milestones and quality commitments despite the COVID-19 pandemic, marks the path for future collaboration with Saudi Arabia.