The ceremony was held in presence of Commander of the Saudi Royal Naval Forces Lieutenant General Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Ghufaili.
In his speech during the ceremony, the Commander of the Royal Saudi Navy explained that these new vessels will upgrade the preparedness of the navy to further enhance the maritime security on one hand and protect the country’s vital and strategic interests on the other.
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 on 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). Meanwhile, Zamil Shipyards laid the keel of its first HSI32 Interceptor built in Saudi Arabia one year ago in Damman. The Royal Saudi Navy officially inducted a first batch of two HSI Interceptor fast patrol crafts in January 2020.
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.
CMN HSI32 main characteristics
> Length Overall : 32.20 m.
> Beam Overall : 7.00 m.
> Maximum draught : 1.80 m.
> Maximum speed : 48 Knots.
> Range at 12 Knots : 1200 NM.
> Range at 33 Knots : 650 NM.
> Crew : 12.
> Fuel : 25 m3.
> Fresh water : 3 m3.
> Hull & Superstructure : Aluminium.