NAVDEX 2021: UAE Navy Commissions Logistic Support Vessel
Ceremony for Al Saadiyat reflects strategy to modernise and strengthen the UAE naval fleet, aided by the national defence industry.
The logistic support vessel Al Saadiyat (L72) was commissioned into service for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy on 22 February 2021 at the ADNEC Marina, Abu Dhabi, by Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Local media reported the Sheikh as noting that Emirati naval forces are undergoing an ‘accelerated development’ as part of a comprehensive strategy to modernise and strengthen the UAE naval fleet, aided by the national defence industry.
Construction of Al Saadiyat — effectively a large landing craft — was completed earlier this year by UAE-based Al Fattan Ship Industry. The vessel is 71m long with a beam of 14m and a draft of 2.7m, with power provided by two two MTU 12V4000M3 diesel engines for a top speed of 10 kt. It displaces up to 3,100t when fully loaded, according to information released by the UAE Navy during NAVDEX on 21-25 February.
Al Saadiyat is equipped with a bow ramp for loading and unloading of deck cargo and personnel and it features a helicopter deck aft of the superstructure. Weapons comprise two 12-barrelled rocket launchers behind the bridge as well as two small-calibre remotely controlled cannon that are fitted alongside the bridge. A prominent SATCOM antenna sits atop the bridge.
According to Cdre Fahad Nasser Al-Dhahli, the official UAE Navy spokesperson at NAVDEX, the landing craft will be utilised for a variety of tasks including logistical support, troop and cargo transport and medevac.
The similar Al Fattan-built landing craft Al Shareeah (L71) — built to a LSV75 design by UAE-based Focus Marine with a length of 78.7m and a beam of 15m — entered service with the UAE Navy in late 2012.
However, Al Shareeah has a different superstructure layout including a helicopter deck located one deck higher than Al Saadiyat. In addition, their deck crane arrangements and bow ramp supports are different.