La Carraca, ready to receive the first crew of the Saudi Arabian Navy

The Arsenal of La Carraca is already prepared to receive the Royal Saudi Naval Forces staff that will stay in San Fernando to train in the handling of the five corvettes that since 2019 have been built in the island shipyards of Navantia. In total, during the development of the entire program, there will be about 600 Saudi soldiers who will coexist in these historic facilities of the Spain navy.

And for this, a millionaire investment has been carried out that has made it possible to rescue buildings of enormous heritage value that were also in a painful state of conservation, including the old Penal of the Four Towers, which has undergone an amazing rehabilitation, which has had an unbeatable result.

To this emblematic building, in which troops and non-commissioned officers will be housed, are added the so-called Operators’ Houses, which have also been tuned to accommodate Saudi officers.

They will thus have rooms, laundry and common areas for both leisure and study at the La Carraca naval base. On the other hand, they will also have at their disposal the building Fonda Correa, also rehabilitated to be used as an exclusive dining room for the Saudi staff. There will be the services of breakfast, lunch and dinner for these endowments. They can also enjoy sports facilities shared with the Navy. In short, Navantia explains, a whole “hosting infrastructure” that has been taking shape since April 2019 – when the works began – thanks to a public transfer agreement for the facilities.

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The rehabilitation and fine-tuning of the Penal of the Four Towers, a building especially characteristic of the Arsenal de La Carraca, was awarded for 3,569,130.85 euros; which makes it the highest investment in this entire package. And also in the most complex performance of all the rush. The enclosure will serve to accommodate the crew of Saudi NCOs and sailors during his stay on La Isla. And the action that has just ended has included foundation work and the structure of the historic building, rehabilitation of the façade and roofs, replacement of the flooring, renovation of carpentry, adaptation of interior cladding and installation of supply of water, plumbing and drains.

This mid-18th century building, thanks to this intervention, has also seen its square meters increased through the creation of a mezzanine, in which rooms, bathrooms, common rooms have been enabled and have given the building a greater accommodation capacity. In addition to recovering its historic façade, the building’s courtyard, of great singularity, has been rescued, which has remained as a recreational space “and with the capacity to serve as a stage for outdoor events,” according to Navantia.

It has the capacity to accommodate 278 people, 202 sailors and 76 NCOs.

At 2,492,607.28 euros, on the other hand, the award of the reform of the so-called Operators’ Houses, a dozen semi-detached and two-story single-family homes in which the commands of the Saudi Navy will stay exclusively.

These ongoing works have included a roof and façade intervention, the replacement of flooring and interior cladding as well as water supply, plumbing and drainage and electrical, air conditioning and telecommunications installations. In short, it has been a comprehensive action.

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In this case, 9 of the 12 homes that make up this block located at the foot of the main road of the base have been renovated, providing them with current comforts, with the capacity to accommodate 8 people each, independently with their individual rooms and services, as well as common recreation areas. These accommodations, with a capacity for 70 people, will initially be allocated to officers participating in the corvettes program.

The third of the great actions that takes place in La Carraca to accommodate the Saudi personnel goes through the recovery of the call Fonda Correa, which will be destined to dinning room, in whose rehabilitation 833,880 euros have been invested.

The property, Navantia explains, has been renovated, turning it into facilities “with restoration capacity according to the needs of the current Saudi program.” It has a large luminaire when recovering the one that the building initially had, air conditioning, food preservation and storage chambers, as well as a kitchen area.

Currently, the program management is already preparing the arrival of the first funds and is working together with the Navantia medical services managers to develop a prevention plan following the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, as well as action protocols for different scenarios that may occur due to the current health crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.


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