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Saudi Arabian Military Industries and Spain’s state-owned Navantia hold ceremony to launch new warship

Riyadh, SA: Saudi Royal Naval Forces celebrated the launch of its new warship on Wednesday, July 22 as part of a joint venture with Spain. The new Avante 2200 Corvette ship, named Al Jubail, was the first of five launched from the shipyard of the Spanish state-held shipbuilder Navantia in San Fernando, Spain.

Saudi officials and navy officers watched the ceremony remotely from the naval headquarters in Riyadh. Al Jubail has the latest combat systems to deal with air, surface and sub-surface threats, as well as electronic warfare. In April 2018, Spain and Saudi Arabia signed a framework agreement to sell the Gulf Arab state warships under a deal worth 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

A second agreement, the Sarawat project, was signed between state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) Company and Navantia, a 900 million euros ($991 million) deal to adapt Navantia's combat management systems for Saudi navy corvette ships.

The Sarawat project, in addition to the manufacturing of five military ships, will include the training of crew members, logistical services, long-term technical and logistical support.
SAMI was established in May 2017 with the aim to localise 50 percent of military spending by 2030, as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to diversify the kingdom's economy away from oil revenue.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund-backed SAMI spearheads a drive to localise military spending and aims to generate $10 billion in revenue over the next five years.

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