Navantia to build five frigates for Spanish Navy
Spain's state-owned shipbuilder Navantia will build five frigates for the country's navy in a €4.3 billion deal that will create around 7,000 jobs, the ministry for regional affairs said 13 December.
In a statement, it said the cabinet would on 14 December give its green light for construction of the F-110 frigates in the northwestern region of Galicia.
The agreement 'entails an investment of €4.325 billion ($4.9 billion) and the creation of 7,000 jobs,' the ministry quoted Javier Losada, the central government's representative in Galicia, as saying.
The ministry said that included at least 1,300 direct jobs, 2,000 in peripheral industries and 3,500 indirect ones.
'There will be direct and indirect added value of €5.4 billion,' Losada was quoted as saying.
The ships will be built in the industrial city of Ferrol, dubbed Spain's Detroit for its shrinking population and abandoned buildings.
They will substitute six other 'Santa Maria' frigates that are now 35-years-old in the navy.
The defence ministry also hopes to export these brand new frigate models abroad.
'To succeed in exports, the competitiveness of Navantia's products is crucial and the defence/navy-Navantia collaboration model is one of the pillars on which this competitiveness can be built,' the defence ministry said on its website.
'The programme of F-110 frigates is key to modernising the navy's fleet and to ensure the future of Navantia in exporting these types of products.'
The defence industry in Spain, which is recovering from a severe economic crisis and has one of Europe's highest unemployment rates, is important in terms of the jobs and money it generates.
Navantia has also signed an 1.8-billion-euro deal to supply oil-rich Saudi Arabia with five navy ships.
But this agreement reportedly came into trouble in September after the Socialist government said it had cancelled a 2015 deal to sell 400 laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia amid concerns they could harm civilians in Yemen where the kingdom is engaged in a conflict.
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