Fincantieri shipyard at Muggiano recently launched the “Ganthoot”, the first of two stealth patrol vessels included in the “Falaj 2” program in progress for the United Arab Emirates Navy who ordered them in 2010. The ship, whose name comes from a geographical area in the Emirates in the neighbourhood of Abu Dhabi, will be delivered in the second half of 2012.
The launch ceremony, which was attended by the Deputy Commander of the Emirate Naval Forces, His Highness Sheikh Saeed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, the Italian head of Fincantieri’s Naval Business Unit, Angelo Fusco, the Commander-in-Chief of Maridipart La Spezia, Admiral Andrea Campregher and representatives from the shipyard’s management, started with the customary recital of the Koran and, following the official speeches, the traditional breaking of the bottle.
Capable surpassing 20 knots, the “Falaj 2” program patrol vessels are 55 metres long with a beam of 8.60 metres and can accommodate a crew of 28. However, what makes this ship special is her particular geometry thanks to which it is difficult to pick her up on radar (stealth).
Further features of these ships include their high level of flexibility which enables them to carry out a range of different mission types – from patrol and surveillance to defence from air and surface attacks – both in national and international waters, and top living and safety standards.
The contract provides the Emirate Navy with an option for another two sister vessels as well as technology transfer to a local shipyard for the construction of additional sister vessels.
Recognising the strategic importance of the Middle East market and its strong, fruitful partnership with the UAE, Fincantieri intends to consolidate the company Etihad Ship Building. Set up as a joint venture with Al Fattan Ship Industries and Melara Middle East – both represented at the ceremony – ESB works in the field of the design, construction and sale of different types of civilian and military craft in addition to carrying out maintenance and refitting in loco.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 8, 2012;