Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) has signed a Dh930 million contract to build 12 new boats for the UAE Navy and retrofit 12 existing ones, said the country's naval chief.
Staff Major-General Ahmed Al Tenaiji, who is the commander of the UAE Naval Forces, was speaking during a press conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
He said according to the contract, signed with the General Command of the Armed Forces and announced at Idex 2009, the new vessels will be delivered over four years.
The first one is to arrive 18 months from now, while one boat will be handed over every three months thereafter.
The Abu Dhabi Government owns a 10 per cent stake in ADSB, while Mubadala Development Company owns 40 per cent. More than 6,000 UAE national shareholders own the remaining 50 per cent of the company.
About the vessels to be built, Al Tenaiji said they would be fast fighting boats, 26.5m long and constructed using aluminium.
They will be arranged in three different versions, each fulfilling different mission requirements.
He said one boat will be fitted with the MBDA Marte Mk2/N missile system, another with the Patria Nemo 120mm mortar system, and the third will be fitted with Rheinmetall 27mm guns.
Al Tenaiji said the highly sophisticated vessels will provide considerable defensive fire power support for the UAE Naval Forces.
Weapons system integration will be undertaken by the Abu Dhabi Systems Integration (ADSI), a UAE joint venture company formed in 2006 by ADSB and Selex Sistemi Integrati of Italy.
He said the vessels, designed by Swedeship Marine of Sweden, are based on the proven ADSB-supplied Ghannatha-class fast troop transport vessels currently in service with the UAE Naval Forces and the Critical National Infrastructure Authority.
One of the vessels is on display at the Idex entrance and another is participating in demonstration at the exhibition.
The boats will be propelled by twin MTU Marine Diesel engines coupled to Rolls Royce FF waterjets which will give a maximum speed in excess of 40 knots (Dh74kph), excellent maneuverability and the ability to operate in extremely shallow waters.
Al Tenaiji said in addition to shipbuilding, Abu Dhabi Ship Building has demonstrated experience in the upgrading, retrofitting and repair of both military and commercial vessels.
The company also offers a full range of support services to navies, coast guards and other marine operators in the whole of the GCC.
William Saltzer, ADSB's CEO, said: "ADSB is extremely pleased to receive this contract for building more Ghannatha-class vessels and for retrofitting the existing vessels that we built previously for the UAE Navy.
"Both the new boats and the retrofitted ones will be even more versatile and mission capable."