Abu Dhabi: The Royal Saudi Navy officially inducted the second and third batches of high speed intercept vessels, to strengthen maritime security in the Arabian Gulf, local media reported.
A reception ceremony was held at the eastern coast’s Ras Mashaab Military Port.
The commander of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Lieutenant-General Fahad bin Abdullah Al Ghofaili, said: “The HSI32 system will contribute to raising the level of readiness and combat readiness of the naval forces to enhance maritime security in the region, and will participate with the various eastern fleet units in protecting the vital and strategic interests of Saudi Arabia.”
In January the first batch of the French interceptors was inducted.
In April 2018, Saudi company Zamil Offshore Services concluded an agreement worth $480 million with French shipyard CMN for the construction of 39 HSI32 interceptors for the Saudi Naval Forces. According to the agreement, 21 vessels are set to be built by CMN in Cherbourg, France, and the remaining 18 are to be assembled at the facilities of Zamil Offshore Services in Saudi Arabia.
CMN delivered the first two HSI32 Interceptors for the Royal Saudi Navy on July 24, 2019 at the shipyard in Cherbourg, Normandie.
About CMN HSI 32 Interceptor
According to CMN, the HSI32 is a fast interceptor which combines significant intelligence and surveillance capacities with high speed (45 knots) and extended patrol period of three days.
HSI32 Interceptors have already been delivered by CMN to the Navy of Mozambique back in 2013. The Saudi vessels differ slightly in design as they feature a secondary raised pilot house. It is powered by three waterjets.
The vessel has a range of 800 nautical miles and a crew of 12 sailors. It features a stern ramp to launch and recover a RHIB and as well as a panoramic 360 degree bridge. Images of the vessels show them fitted with a Nexter Narwhal 20mm remote weapon station at the bow.