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New joint venture shipyard in the UAE

Thursday, 08 Mar 2012

A new joint venture shipyard in Abu Dhabi will construct stealth warships and marine engines in cooperation with Italian yard group Fincantieri.

Etihad Ship Building (ESB), a joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s Al Fattan Ship Industries, weapons suppliers Melara Middle East of Dubai and Italy’s Fincantieri, will construct, refit and carry out maintenance of stealth warships for the United Arab Emirates navy and Gulf region navies. Initially, the joint venture shipyard will install the Rolled Airframe Missile (RAM), defence systems on one naval vessel, which is currently under construction in Italy by Fincantieri. Two more ships being built by Fincantieri will be delivered to the UAE in the next two years. Fincantieri, which has joint ventures with fi ve nations, last year won a contract from the UAE Navy to build an 88 metre long 1,650 tonnes corvette. The Italian yard also won a UAE order for construction of two 55 metre long stealth vessels with delivery this year. This contract provides an option for the UAE Navy for the construction of two more units. Mr Achille Fulfaro, the general manager of Etihad Ship Building, said the Etihad yard will become the main logistical hub in the Gulf area for the Italian shipbuilding group. Mr Ahmed Ali Abdulwahab Al Marzouqi, general manager of Al Fattan Ship Industry, said the new company is anticipating a contract by the end of the year to build four more vessels for the UAE Navy at the shipyard. Asked about any order he is expecting outside the UAE, Al Marzouqi said "talks are underway for the construction of total 10 vessels" for two regional countries, which he did not name. Currently, Al Fattan Ship Building is also undertaking refitting and maintenance of four Class patrol boats for the Iraqi Navy, which were also built by Fincantieri.

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