Yesterday at Muggiano shipyard (La Spezia) there was the traditional sheet cutting ceremony marking the commencement of construction of the first of two "Falaj 2" stealth vessels which have been ordered from Fincantieri by the United Arab Emirates Navy.
Signed at the beginning of the year the contract includes an option for the Emirate Navy to order a further two sister ships, in addition to the transfer of Fincantieri technology to a local shipyard.
Delivery of the vessel is scheduled in the second half of 2012.
At 55 metres with a beam of 8.60, these patrol vessels have a maximum speed of over 20 knots and can accommodate a crew of 28. Their main feature is their particular stealth structure which makes them difficult to track.
The vessels are also highly flexible, capable of carrying out a range of mission profiles - from patrol and control operations to self-defence in the face of threats both from the air and the surface - in the context of national and international operations, whilst at the same time providing high standards of accommodation and safety.
The market of the Emirates, where last year there was a first important order for an "Abu Dhabi class" corvette - currently under construction at Riva Trigoso shipyard - has become increasingly strategic per Fincantieri, both in terms of naval and civilian business opportunities, as witnessed by the launch of the joint venture in the area "Etihad Ship Building", recently announced during the "Euronaval" fair. The new company will be tasked with the design, construction and sale of a range of merchant and naval vessels as well as managing maintenance and refitting activities.
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