- The Chairwoman, Belén Gualda, has highlighted this program as strategic and has expressed Navantia willingness for future opportunities.
- The construction NB 547 AL DIRIYAH was launched at 14:18.
- The event has been streamed, with connections between Saudi Arabia and the shipyard.
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 highlighted the work of Navantia and the Spanish Navy, “giving the highest to achieve the training of the first crew in Spain, qualified personnel capable of operating and maintaining these ships”. In this sense, the Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy also highlighted the total commitment of the Spanish Navy in this pioneering program, which involves a high-quality training beyond the construction.
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.
The Chairwoman of Navantia 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.
Next, 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 design of the corvettes is of the latest generation, maximizing the participation of Navantia by incorporating its own products, such as the CATIZ Combat System, the HERMESYS Integrated Communications System, the DORNA Firing Direction, the Integrated Platform Control System and the MINERVA Integrated Bridge, together with other equipment developed by Navantia under license, such as the MTU Engines or the RENK Reduction 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 contract, which came into force in November 2018, strengthens the immediate future of Navantia and benefits all the shipyards of the company and its auxiliary industry, especially the whole Bay of Cadiz.
Specifically, it will mean a global workload of around seven million hours which, translated into employment, will reach the figure of 6,000 annually during the next five years. Of these, more than 1,100 will be Navantia employees; more than 1,800, employees from Auxiliary Industry of Navantia and more than 3,000, indirect employees generated by other suppliers. There will be more than 100 auxiliary companies that will collaborate in this project.