The delivery ceremony of two vessels for the United Arab Emirates Navy was held on Tuesday, January 8 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). These were an “Abu Dhabi Class” corvette, launched in February 2011, and the “Ghantut” patrol vessel, launched at the same yard in January 2012.
In the presence of Rear Admiral Ibrahim Salem Mohamed Al-Musharrakh, Head of the UAE Navy, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, Italian Navy Chief of Staff, who was represented on this occasion by Vice Admiral Alberto Gauzolino, Logistic Support and Light houses Inspector, Vice Admiral Andrea Toscano, Commander in Chief Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Department Italian Navy, Vice Admiral Ernesto Nencioni, Director for Naval Armaments and Alberto Maestrini, Fincantieri Executive Senior Vice President Naval Vessels, the ceremony began with the characteristic recitation of the Qur’an in accordance with the dictates of Islam.
Exemplifying Fincantieri’s product excellence, both vessels stand out for 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 against air and surface threats and attack against both land and sea targets), as well as for their high standards of accommodation and safety.
As evidence of the strategic importance of the Middle East market and the strong and fruitful partnership initiated with the Emirates, Fincantieri has set up the company Etihad Ship Building in Abu Dhabi as a joint venture with Al Fattan Ship Industries and Melara Middle East; the purpose of the company, which is already operational, is to design, construct and sell both civilian and military ships, as well as carry out maintenance and refitting.
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.
Fincantieri will be present from 17 to 21 February at the important “Idex” defence industry exhibition in Abu Dhabi, with an exhibit on the megayacht sector.
ABU DHABI CLASS CORVETTE
The “Abu Dhabi class” project has evolved from the “Cigala Fulgosi” one, which led to the construction of four “Commandante” class ships for the Italian Navy. The contract also involves supplying the UAE Navy with logistical support and crew training. The vessel is 88 metres long with a 12 metre beam, has a full load displacement of 1650 tons, can reach a speed of 25 knots with a range of more than 3000 nautical miles at 14 knots (thanks to 2 diesel engines of 7000 kW each) and can accommodate a crew of about 70. 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. It will be able to exchange tactical data in real time with other naval vessels, helicopters and land bases and will provide support and shelter 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 two ships – “Ghantut” delivered yesterday and “Salahah” the sister ship launched last June, whose names come from an area of the Emirates near Abu Dhabi – were ordered in 2010 as part of the “Falaj 2” program. Capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots, they are 55 metres long with a beam of 8.80 metres 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), as well as their high standards of accommodation and safety.
The contract provides the UAE Navy with an option for another two sister ships, as well as technology transfer to a local shipyard for possible construction of the sister vessels.
Naval Today Staff, January 9, 2013; Image: Fincantieri