VESSEL REVIEW | Al-Jubail – Lead ship of new corvette class for Saudi Arabia
Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has delivered the first in a class of five multi-role corvettes slated for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).
Al-Jubail and its four sisters are variants of Navantia’s Avante 2000 series of corvettes, which were developed primarily for the export market. The acquisition of these corvettes makes Saudi Arabia the second country to operate the Avante 2000 ships after Venezuela.
The RSNF variants, also known as the Avante 2200 series, feature modifications that will enable them to operate under extreme temperatures. Missions will include anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, search and rescue (SAR), marine environmental protection, and humanitarian assistance. Navantia also provided training for the RSNF crews who will operate the five corvettes in addition to undertaking life-cycle support for a firm period of five years in fulfillment of a contract with the Saudi government.
Named after a city on Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf coast, Al-Jubail has a length of 104 metres, a beam of 14 metres, a design draught of 3.8 metres, a displacement of 2,000 tonnes, space for 21 days’ worth of provisions, and accommodations for 102 crewmembers and other personnel. Four MTU 12V-1163-TB93 4,440kW diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) arrangement drive two controllable-pitch propellers via RENK gearboxes to enable the ship to reach speeds of up to 27 knots. At a more economical 18 knots, the ship can cover 4,500 nautical miles in between refuelings.
The armament consists of a Leonardo 76-millimetre naval gun for use against both surface and air targets, a Rheinmetall Oerlikon close-in weapon system for point defence, four 12.7-millimetre machine guns, Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes. Thales supplied some of the guidance systems and other combat sensors including a multi-function radar and a combat management system.
The remainder of the mission-essential systems were developed in-house by Navantia. These systems include an integrated bridge, an integrated communications system, an electro-optical tracking and fire control system, and a combat management system developed jointly with Saudi Arabian Military Industries.
The corvette has flight deck and hangar space for a 10-tonne multi-role helicopter. Two 5.5-metre rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) can also be carried on board. The RIBs are deployed into and recovered from the water via dedicated davits.
Design work on Al-Jubail was done in compliance to Lloyd’s Register class rules.
|Type of vessel:||Corvette|
|Owner:||Royal Saudi Naval Forces|
|Hull construction material:||Steel|
|Superstructure construction material:||Steel|
|Deck construction material:||Steel|
|Length overall:||104 metres|
|Main engines:||4 x MTU 12V-1163-TB93, each 4,440 kW|
|Gearboxes:||4 x RENK|
|Propulsion:||2 x controllable-pitch propellers|
|Maximum speed:||27 knots|
|Cruising speed:||18 knots|
|Range:||4,500 nautical miles|
|Other electronics:||Navantia; Thales|
|Armaments:||Leonardo naval gun; Rheinmetall Oerlikon close-in weapon system; Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles; Harpoon anti-ship missiles; torpedoes; 4 x machine guns|
|Tenders:||2 x rigid inflatable boats|
|Type of fuel:||Diesel|