Navantia signs a new contract in Saudi Arabia, at the expense of the French Naval Group

The Saudi government will entrust the Spanish company with the design and construction of five combat ships, following a second agreement signed Wednesday in Riyadh.

It’s a significant victory for Madrid. On Wednesday, the Saudi Ministry of Defense signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Spanish naval company Navantia for the design and construction of five multi-mission ships for the Royal Saudi Navy. “The MoU aims to raise the level of readiness of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces to enhance maritime security in the region and protect the vital and strategic interests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Saudi Press Agency said on Thursday. The agreement provides that the Spanish company “will tackle shipbuilding, combat systems integration and ship maintenance, in line with the Kingdom’s goals and Vision 2030.”

The signing ceremony took place on Wednesday in the presence of Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism María Reyes Maroto. After a first order dating from 2018, Saudi Arabia once again trusts Navantia, which is already building five corvettes for Riyadh in Cadiz. If there were no official tenders for these new ships, according to information from The gallery, the agreement sounds like a setback for France and Naval Group, which had nevertheless established a privileged partnership with the Gulf country for several decades.

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