The program is progressing well (despite some slight delay due to the global health crisis, as is the case with all major industrial projects) and the third corvette is already at a quite advanced stage of construction: Based on the pictures, this “keel laying” actually showed that the first block of the corvette is pretty completed (and appears to be pre-outfitted).
According to a statement by Navantia:
This milestone represents a further step in the smooth running of the program, which saw the launch of the first corvette, Al-Jubail, on July 22, and which is already working on the five vessels at the same time in different stages of development.
Indeed, the first-in-class ship; Al Jubail, was launched on 22 July at the same shipyard. Note on the pictures the second corvette of the class at an advanced stage of construction. It is set to be launched in November this year.
About RSN Al Jubail-class / Navantia Avante 2200 corvette
The Al Jubail-class corvette (Avante 2200) has a length of 104 metres, a beam of 14 metres and will be able to accommodate 102 people (crew and additional personnel). It will reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and, among other aspects, it has the capacity to carry 21 days’ supplies on board.
The corvettes are the latest generation of successful Navantia-designed combatants, and incorporate state-of-the-art Navantia products, such as the CATIZ Combat System, DORNA Gun Fire Control System, NAVCOMS/HERMESYS Integrated External and Internal Communications System, MINERVA Integrated Navigation and Bridge System, or 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 program, whose last ship should be delivered in 2024, includes, in addition to construction, Life Cycle Support for five years, from the delivery of the first ship, with the option of another five additional years.
On the other hand, the contract also includes the supply of various services such as integrated logistical support, operational and maintenance training, supply of training and training Centers for the Combat System and Platform Control System for ships, Support to the Life Cycle, previously mentioned, and the systems for the maintenance of ships in the RNSF Jeddah Naval Base.