A reception ceremony was held at the eastern coast’s Ras Mashaab Military Port. « We are now seeing the first signs of huge and large naval projects, (…) during the coming month, (…) the Royal Saudi Navy will receive a number of combat helicopters in the eastern fleet, which will be very supportive of the combat readiness of the forces, » the commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Lieutenant-General Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, said.
In April 2018, Saudi company Zamil Offshore Services concluded an agreement worth 480 million dollars with French shipyard CMN for the construction of 39 HSI32 interceptors for the Saudi Naval Forces. According to the agreement, 21 vessels are set to be built by CMN in Cherbourg, France, and the remaining 18 are to be assembled at the facilities of Zamil Offshore Services in Saudi Arabia.
CMN delivered the first two HSI32 Interceptors for the Royal Saudi Navy. The delivery ceremony took place July 24, 2019 at the shipyard in Cherbourg, Normandie. In addition, CMN is set to deliver three Combattante FS56 Fast Attack Craft (originally ordered on behalf of Lebanon).
About CMN HSI 32 Interceptor
According to CMN, the HSI32 is a fast interceptor which combines significant intelligence and surveillance capacities with high speed (45 knots) and extended patrol period of 3 days.
HSI32 Interceptors have already been delivered by CMN to the Navy of Mozambique back in 2013. The Saudi vessels differ slightly in design as they feature a secondary raised pilot house. It is powered by three waterjets.
The vessel has a range of 800 nautical miles and a crew of 12 sailors. It features a stern ramp to launch and recover a RHIB and as well as a panoramic 360° bridge. Images of the vessels show them fitted with a Nexter Narwhal 20mm remote weapon station at the bow.