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Jazan is the fourth of five Avante 2200 corvettes for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces. (Photo: Navantia)

A construction programme for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces also includes technology transfer for Saudi Arabian Military Industries.

Spanish shipbuilder Navantia on 24 July launched Jazan as the fourth Avante 2200 corvette out of five on order for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.

Work on Jazan will continue at the San Fernando shipyard until the vessel is scheduled for delivery to Saudi Arabia in 2023.

The Avante 2200 programme began in late 2018 and Navantia launched the first vessel (Al-Jubail) in July 2020. The second and third (Al-Dariyah and Hail) were launched in August 2020 and March 2021 respectively.

Shephard Defence Insight forecasts delivery of the final vessel in 2024 and calculates the unit cost of each corvette at $420 million.

The Avante 2200 design is 104m long with a beam of 14m and a complement of up to 102 passengers and crew.

Navantia integrates multiple systems including its Catiz combat management system, Hermesys integrated communications system, Dorna fire-control system and Minerva integrated bridge system.

MTU provides the engines and RENK supplies gearboxes.

As well as construction of the five vessels, Navantia is responsible for lifecycle support (for five years after delivery of Al-Jubail) and crew training at a special centre in Spain.

It also provides equipment to maintain the corvettes Jeddah Naval Base.

The Avante 2200 programme is being executed in concert with the state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), which is benefiting from technology transfer to develop indigenous industrial capabilities. SAMI is tasked with implementing a Saudi government target of localising 50% of annual military spending by the end of the decade, in line with the Vision 2030 economic modernisation programme.