Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia has received a contract from the Royal Moroccan Navy to design and build an offshore patrol vessel (OPV).
The contract was announced by María Jesús Montero, Spanish Minister of Finance, during a visit to the San Fernando shipyard on 8 January 2021.
Navantia has been selected among several shipbuilders to build the Moroccan boat. Navantia and the Moroccan Administration of National Defence have been negotiating for several months the technical and commercial aspects of the deal.
The construction will begin once engineering works are completed, according to the shipbuilder.
Back in the 1980s, Navantia supplied last patrol boats and a corvette to the Royal Moroccan Navy.
Although no official details have been shared, the new unit will likely have the same design as the Avante-class OPV, Spanish media suggest. Previously, Navantia built Avante-class boats for Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
With a standard displacement of 1,453 tons, Avante-class boats feature a length of 79.9 meters and a beam of 11.8 meters. They can reach a speed of 22 knots.