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December 29, 2003

Abhu Dhabi Shipbuilding gets $500 million corvette contract

Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) yesterday signed a $500 million naval shipbuilding contract with the UAE Armed Forces. It involves the design and construction of a new class of multi-purpose missile corvettes for the UAE Navy called the Baynunah Class. The project is for six vessels, two of which are options. ADSB is the Prime Contractor for the project and will supply the 70-meter vessels along with various associated training and logistics services. The corvettes will be designed by the French shipbuilder Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) under a subcontract from ADSB.

As part of its subcontract, CMN will build the first-of-class vessel in France. The remaining three vessels as well as the two optional vessels will be built at ADSB's shipyard in Abu Dhabi. ADSB will have full responsibility for delivering all vessels, including the integration of their sophisticated weapons systems.

ADSB says Baynunah will be the most sophisticated naval vessel of its size ever constructed. Designed as a multi-mission corvette, the vessel will have a cutting edge combat system with the capability to perform a wide range of military operations, including defense against both air and surface threats. The vessel's design also allows for additional equipment to support future underwater operations.

The ship will utilize the latest in electronic sensor technology, along with a combination of newly developed missiles and guns, to provide a degree of defensive firepower that is unprecedented for vessels of this size. This capability will be further enhanced by the latest in communications technology that facilitates both voice and data communications with the naval fleet, land based forces and supporting military aircraft.

"There is no 70-meter ship in any navy in the world that can compare with Baynunah. This will be a truly unique vessel that will offer more complex mission capabilities than any vessel of its type," said Lawrence Holliday, ADSB's Chief Executive Officer. "Having the local capability to build such a navy ship is a matter of extreme pride for our company." Baynunah will also serve as an effective base for various helicopter missions while at sea. It will provide a landing pad, a modern helicopter landing system and a fully enclosed helicopter hangar area on its deck.

The enclosed hangar is another feature of the Baynunah design claimed as unique for naval vessels of this size. Baynunah will be unique in many other aspects as well. It will be the largest steel-hulled naval vessel ever built using only water jet propulsion. Three water jets, two steerable and one booster, will be powered by four large diesel engines, providing impressive maneuverability, a smooth ride even in rough seas and speeds of over 30 knots.

By using the latest in on-board automation, the size of the ship's crew has been substantially reduced providing important manpower savings to the UAE Navy.

ADSB claims to be the only shipbuilder in the Arab Gulf region with the capability to construct and repair complex naval warships. The company has already completed a number of highly complicated newbuilding, refit and upgrading projects for the UAE Navy and Coast Guard, and has been increasingly successful in offering its capabilities to other navies throughout the GCC and Gulf region.

The company also has a master agreement with the French Navy to provide maintenance and repair services to vessels of the French Navy fleet serving in the Arab Gulf

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