NAVDEX 2023: Emirati shipbuilder inks deal to build corvettes for Angola
Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) has signed a significant deal with Angola to supply the African nation with corvettes and small watercraft.
The contract is a landmark for the UAE shipbuilder, part of the Edge conglomerate, and is the largest export deal in the company's history.
ADSB is prime contractor for the programme, which also includes France's CMN Naval.
ADSB CEO David Massey told Shephard that the deal covers three BR71 Mk II corvettes and an undisclosed number of Edge-designed smaller boats.
The deal will also include training and UAVs. Edge subsidiary ADASI produces the Garmoosha and Al Sabr S-100, based on Schiebel's Camcopter RWUAS.
While the workshare has yet to be confirmed, CMN Naval will likely build the first ship in France and subsequent corvettes will come from ADSB in the UAE.
The BR71 Mk IIs for Angola will be similar to the UAE's Baynunah-class corvettes, also built by ADSB and CMN Naval. The vessels will help Angola patrol its 1,600km coastline.
The three corvettes will carry a 3D radar, electronic warfare suite, secure communications, main gun and surface-to-surface radar.
The ships will likely carry a Leonardo Kronos family radar, similar to that which will equip the Falaj-3 corvettes being built by ADSB for the UAE Navy.
'This demonstrates our strategic approach and steadfast commitment to increasing national exports in line with the UAE leadership's directive.'— Khalid Al Breiki, Edge Group platform and systems president
Edge platform and systems president Khalid Al Breiki said: 'Signing a EUR 1 billion defence export deal represents a momentous achievement for EDGE as well as ADSB.
'This demonstrates our strategic approach and steadfast commitment to increasing national exports in line with the UAE leadership's directive.'
The deal is a crucial development for the Emirati shipbuilder, which has been building up the country's indigenous shipbuilding capabilities.
The export order also allows ADSB to reduce its reliance on the UAE government as a customer, ensuring its viability for the future by diversifying its customer base.
ADSB sees potential for more export deals to countries on Africa's east and west coasts as it looks to become a significant regional player in the shipbuilding market.
The company is also targeting opportunities in Asia, including potential sales to Indonesia and the Philippines.
The deal also includes a transfer of technology allowing Angola to build small boats and potentially assist the country in building larger corvette-sized platforms in future.
Under the four-year Angolan programme, the first vessel will be delivered in around two years.
ADSB will also undertake combat systems integration elements of the work.
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