NAVDEX 2021: ADSB Looks Ahead With New Vessel Designs
Mesbar, Majed and Falaj 3 designs see the light of day at Abu Dhabi naval exhibition.
At the NAVDEX 2021 naval trade show, held in parallel with IDEX 2021 from 21-25 February, Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) exhibited several scale models of new vessels being designed and manufactured domestically.
These include Mesbar 01 and Majed 01 fast patrol boats (FPBs). The 16m Mesbar 01 boat (built to meet UAE Coast Guard requirements) is modular in design, to accommodate either a short cabin with space for surface-to-surface missile systems or a longer one for troop transport.
The FPBs can be armed to customer specifications, with potential armament ranging from a manually operated 12.7mm machine gun to a 30mm automatic cannon installed on an RWS.
Majed 01 boats range in length from 11-13m depending on customer requirements. A 2t payload allows installation of a RWS or missile systems. According to ADSB, the boat can even be configured to operate as an unmanned craft.
In addition, a mock-up of the 60m-long, 641t Falaj 3 patrol vessel was on display at the ADSB stand (pictured). This design is based on the is based on the Fearless-class patrol vessels built by Singapore Technologies in 1990s, with reduced radar cross section, IR and acoustic signatures.
Falaj 3 will be powered by four engines with four propellers, allowing it to reach speeds exceeding 26kt.
ADSB officials did not discuss a production timeframe and nor would they disclose the types of armament to be carried by the new patrol vessel, although Shephard Defence Insight mentions the Oto 76/62 gun, Mistral SAM or Typhoon Mk 25 gun among the weapons carried on the Fearless class.
Shephard saw a Falaj 3 scale model at NAVDEX with what appeared to be a 30mm cannon and various missiles.
ADSB also signed an MoU with Leonardo during NAVDEX. Details of the agreement remain scarce as it is only at a conceptual stage, but the MoU builds on an existing naval presence for Leonardo in the UAE.
For example, the Italian company has provided the UAE Navy with Oto 76/62mm, 40L70, Marlin 30 and Hitrole 12.7mm RWS naval guns, for vessels such as the Ghannatha-class fast attack craft, Baynunah-class corvettes, Falaj 2-class patrol boats and Abu Dhabi-class corvettes.
Leonardo also expects to provide combat systems for the Bani Yas corvette programme.
Photo: Leonid Nersisyan