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On 28 March, Navantia San Fernando launched the third of five AVANTE 2200 corvettes it is building for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RNSF). The launch of the vessel, christened HAIL, had originally been scheduled for 10 March, but was delayed due to inappropriate weather conditions. Work Will now continue on the vessel, with formal delivery to Saudi Arabia scheduled for 2022.

The ceremony was attended by Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero and José Antonio Rodríguez Poch, (Chief Operations Officer and Director, respectively, of Navantia Bahía de Cádiz shipyards) and by Capt Abdullah Alsheri, Programme Officer AVANTE 2200, on behalf of Vice-Adm Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, Commander of the RSNF.

HAIL, 104m long and with a beam of 14m, will carry a complement of 102 crew and passengers at a maximum speed of 27kts and has a projected endurance of 21 days. The design incorporates a number of Navantia products, including the CATIZ combat system, the HERMESYS integrated communications system, the DORNA fire direction system, the Integrated Platform Control System and the MINERVA integrated bridge, together with other equipment developed by Navantia under license, such as the MTU engines and RENK reduction gearboxes.

The AVANTE 2200 programme specifies the fifth and final vessel be delivered no later than 2024 and includes life cycle support for five years from delivery of the first vessel, with an option for a further five years. It also covers the supply of a number of services, including integrated logistics support, operational and maintenance training, the establishment of training and education centres for the vessels’ combat and platform management systems and additional maintenance.

HAIL at its launch ceremony on 28 March. (Photo: Navantia)

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