Saudi Arabia’s first Avante 2200 corvette Al Jubail has begun patrolling international waters in the Middle East region, the US Navy announced Wednesday.
The corvette’s presence in the Red Sea marks an expanded partnership between the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) and the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.
Al Jubail, part of Saudi’s Western Naval Fleet, began contributing to IMSC missions near the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
“As the Western Fleet joins with IMSC, we are able to bring reassurance to our maritime industry partners as they transit the Bab al-Mandeb Strait into the Red Sea,” commander of the IMSC, Royal Navy Commodore Ben Aldous, said.
The United Kingdom is one of the IMSC’s nine member nations.
Response to Maritime Threats
The nine-member IMSC was formed in July 2019 in response to increased threats to the “freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade for legitimate mariners” in the Middle East region.
Four months later, the coalition established its operational arm, Coalition Task Force Sentinel, “to support regional stability and security of the maritime commons” throughout the area of operations.
The coalition patrols the Arabian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman down through the Gulf of Aden, then through the Bab el-Mandab Strait into the South Red Sea.