Navantia Delivers Fifth Corvette Built in Bahía de Cádiz to the Royal Navy of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah

The C550 UNAYZAH was launched in December 2021 at the San Fernando Shipyard and was transported to the Saudi base where its construction was completed

Defence Industry

Jeddah: On behalf of His Royal Highness Minister of Defence Prince Khaled Bin Salman, the Chief of Staff, General Fayyad bin Hamed al Ruwaili, and the Commander of the Royal Saudi Arabian Navy, Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, presided the commissioning of the fifth corvette, built at Navantia’s Bay of Cádiz shipyard, to the Royal Saudi Arabian Navy (RSNF) on March 7, 2024. The handover took place at the King Faisal naval base in Jeddah in accordance with the terms of the contract.

Delivering his speech at the commissioning event, His Excellency Chief of Staff of Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily said that HMS UNAYZAH is the fifth and last corvette of Al-Sarawat project to be delivered. HMS UNAYZAH, as the rest of her class, was built to be one of the world’s most technologically advanced and powerful corvette to meet National mandates in realisation of Saudi vision 2030, possessing distinctive capabilities to handle multi-combat missions with high efficiency to enhance the combat readiness of the RSNF, to defend the strategic and vital interests of the Kingdom, and to maintain maritime security in the region.

His Excellency Admiral Fahad Bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily also highlighted that the localisation of defence capabilities development and integration carried out onboard HMS UNAYZAH in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the role of Saudi Arabian Military Industry (SAMI) in Al -Sarawat project, as well as, the successful accomplishment of extensive combat systems trials and live firings carried out in KSA, has heavily contributed to achieve one of Ministry of Defence’s strategy to localise more than 50% of the total military expenditure by 2030 aligning with Kingdom’s Vision.

Expressing his utmost gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Salman, Minister of Defence, His Excellency Admiral Al-Ghofaily said, “God bless them all, for the endless support, care, and attention they always give to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.”

Attributing a great deal of Al-Sarawat program’s success to Navantia’s commitment, His Excellency Admiral Al- Ghofaily in his concluding remark expressed his gratitude to Ricardo Dominguez, the Chairman of Navantia, for the company’s exceptional achievements.

The corvette, named UNAYZAH (C550), was transported to Jeddah on a specialised vessel for the completion of final construction and systems integration works, confirming the technology transfer (ToT) and production localisation capability of Navantia to the SAMINavantia joint venture.

The ceremony was attended the Admiral Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy, Gonzalo Sanz and the President of Navantia, Ricardo Domínguez. Also in attendance were the Deputy Minister of Defence, Dr Albiyari; the Undersecretary of Procurement, Ibrahim Alsuwayed; the CEO of SAMI, Walid Abukhaled; the President of SAMINavantia, Mohammed Alkahtani; and the CEO of SAMINavantia, Sofía Honrubia.


The corvette UNAYZAH has a length of 104 metres, a beam of 14 and seating for a total of 102 people between crew and passengers. The contract for the construction of five corvettes entered into force in November 2018 and, since the launch of the first unit (July 2020), Navantia has already launched the five units with a period of four months between each one of them, which means achieving this milestone in a record time of three years. Deliveries are taking place after just over three years from the cutting of the first plate of each ship.

The corvettes are based on the AVANTE 2200 design, adapted to the requirements of the RSNF, offering advanced performance, excellent work at sea, high survivability, and ability to operate in extreme temperatures.

Concurrently, around 500 crew members of these corvettes are completing the education and training process at the Navantia Training Centre (NTC) in San Fernando.

In addition to the corvette contract, Navantia agreed with SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries) to create a joint venture in Saudi Arabia, an alliance that allows Navantia to position its integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions in the Arab market and area of influence and is aligned with the company’s internationalisation strategy.

The contract assumes a global workload of around seven million hours and 6,000 jobs over five years. Of these, more than 1,100 are direct employees, more than 1,800 collaborating industry employees (more than a hundred companies participate at the programme) and more than 3,000 indirect employees generated by other suppliers.

The program includes, in addition to construction, the Life Cycle Support for five years from the delivery of the first ship, with an option for another five additional years, the last ship of which must be delivered in 2024.

It also includes the provision of various services, such as integrated logistics support, operational and maintenance training, provision of Education and Training Centres for the Combat System and Platform Control System of ships, Life Cycle Support, and ship maintenance systems at the Jeddah Naval Base.