x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

UAE Navy warships are ready to set sail

The UAE Navy's first Abu Dhabi class anti-submarine corvette and its first Falaj-2 class patrol vessel have been formally delivered by the Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri.

Illustration by Lee McGorie
Illustration by Lee McGorie

The UAE Navy’s first Abu Dhabi class anti-submarine corvette and its first Falaj-2 class patrol vessel have been formally delivered by the Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri at their yard in Muggiano.

The Abu Dhabi – hull number P 191 – was ordered in July 2009 under a contract that includes training, logistic support and an option for a second corvette.

It was largely built at Fincantieri’s Riva Trigoso yard in northern Italy and transferred to Muggiano for launch, final outfitting and combat system integration.

The Ghantoot, a stealth-capable patrol vessel, was ordered in 2010 as part of the Falaj-2 programme, which includes a sister ship, still being completed.

There is also an option for two further patrol vessels, to be built under a technology transfer agreement at Etihad Ship Building in Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between Fincantieri and Al Fattan Ship Industries.

The business was established to design, construct and market both civilian and military ships, as well as carry out maintenance and refitting.

Both the Abu Dhabi and Ghantoot were accepted by Rear Admiral Ibrahim Salem Mohamed Al-Musharrakh, the head of the UAE Navy, at the ceremony on Wednesday.

The Abu Dhabi is based on the design of the Italian Navy’s four Commandante class corvettes and is 88 metres long and displaces 1,650 tonnes.

The corvette can reach a speed of 25 knots with a range of more than 3,000 nautical miles at 14 knots and will have a crew of about 70. The ship’s weapons systems will include two 30mm Marlin weapons stations, and a version of the super rapid 76mm naval gun.

“This technologically advanced ship will be primarily engaged in patrolling and surveillance activities and could be used in anti-submarine, anti-air and surface actions,” said a Fincantieri spokesman.

“It will be able to exchange tactical data in real time with other naval vessels, helicopters and land bases and will provide support to UAE Navy helicopters. In addition to highly flexible operational capabilities, the vessel also features high standards of safety and accommodation for the comfort of its crew.”

The 55-metre-long Ghantoot is capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots, and can accommodate a crew of 29.

“Their main feature is their special stealth design making them difficult to detect by radar.

“Other features of these ships include their high level of flexibility in being able to carry out different types of mission in national and international waters, from patrol and surveillance, to defence from air and surface threats and attacks against land and sea targets,” said the Fincantieri spokesman.

“In fact, now more than ever, securing foreign orders means ships being built in local shipyards.

“It is therefore necessary to be suitably equipped to ensure that customers obtain quality and rapid delivery,” said Alberto Maestrini, the Fincantieri executive senior vice president for naval ­vessels.