In a celebration attended by Commander of Royal Saudi Naval Forces Vice Adm. Fahad bin Abdullah Al-Ghofaily, His Majesty’s Ship Al-Dariyah was launched into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Al-Dariyah is the second of five naval corvettes built by Spanish ship-maker Navantia as part of a Saudi naval upgrade called Project Sarawat. The ship is 99 meters long, displaces 2,470 tons and accommodates up to 111 Sailors.
Al-Ghofaily noted that the Project Sarawat will raise the combat capabilities of the Royal Saudi Navy to enhance maritime security in the region. It will use the corvettes mainly for surveillance to assist in anti-surface warfare, maritime protection, intelligence gathering, search and rescue missions and smuggling interdiction.
Navantia completed the first of the five combatant ships, named Al-Jubail, in July 2020. It did so in partnership with the Saudi Arabian Military Industries Corp. The deal includes participation of 11 Saudi engineers, part of Riyadh’s vision to develop a domestic defense industry.
Although Navantia will complete most of the 1.8-billion euro contract in the Spanish city of Puerto Real, the last ship will be assembled in Saudi Arabia with a delivery date no later than 2024.
The Royal Saudi Navy is tasked with defending the nation’s 1,600-mile coastline. Its Eastern Fleet covers the Arabian Gulf region and its Western Fleet, the Red Sea.
Sources: Al Watan, Saudi Press Agency (SPA)