Adel M. Hamdan Al Mamari, Operations Manager, Al Fattan Ship Industry, with Hitrole-N Turret GAU remote-controlled naval weapons system at their pavilion. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman /Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Armed Forces have already purchased Dh2.5 billion worth of military and coastal vessels in the past two years from the Al Fattan Ship Industry. It has now sold another Dh451.2 million worth of military products to the UAE Armed Forces during Idex 2011.

Al Fattan Ship Industry located at Al Sadr Port in Al Taweelah is a technology-driven organisation manned by professionals with an average of 15 years experience in the ship building and boat making industry, particularly in the military sector.

Speaking to Gulf News about the breakdown of the Dh451.2 million contracts with the UAE Armed Forces, Adel M. Hamdan Al Mamari, Operation Manager at Al Fattan Ship Industry explained that the first deal — worth Dh94.5 million — included the purchase of ten "15-metre UAE Coast Guard (UAECG) fast patrol boats" and 24 "turrets."

The UAECG patrol boat consists of fibre reinforced glass with advanced core materials, and is armed with a 12.7mm automatic machine gun with IR (infrared) fully controlled from a remote station. The boat has two automatic machine guns on each side.

Its main responsibility is to conduct coastal patrol operations, search and rescue missions and to defend the UAE territorial waters against attack by sea-borne forces.

The 24 turrets, known as the Hitrole-N Gau 19A, are each designed to defeat enemy radar due to its stealth exterior.

There are a range of them, although users needing them for naval purposes are likely to opt for 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns as the main armament.

Enemy vessels may not detect an impending threat posed by the stealth naval Hitrole until it's too late. Major General Obaid Al Katbi, Head of Idex 2011 organising committee, yesterday announced another purchase from the Al Fatan Ship Industry for Dh356.7 million for 18 25-metre light alloy boats.

Guns

Apart from their aluminium component, the light alloy boats have a 12.7mm to 30mm machine gun, and two manual side guns ranging from 7.6 mm to 12.7mm, Al Mamari said.

According to Al Mamari, some of the ongoing projects with the UAE Armed Forces include a Dh115 million support vessel to be built and sold to the Navy.

The Al Shareaa support vessel is the first defence vessel of its kind in the UAE and the Mena region.

"Al Shareaa will be delivered and launched in the water by mid-2011 to the UAE Armed Forces who will be testing it to see if they would like to add any extra equipment to the vessel.

"For that reason, we have built a second support vessel to be delivered six months after the trial vessel, and to be tailor-made in accordance with the armed forces requirements," Al Mamari told Gulf News.

The company is also in the process of selling 12 34-metre double-protection patrol boats which are worth Dh320 million.

"We are still in the engineering phase of building 12 of those boats where we're testing its speed, capacity, endurance, number of crew, type of mission, and many more tailor-made operational requirements, which shouldn't take us more than four months," Al Mamari said.

Delivery

The first UAE anti-submarine ship worth Dh700 million is also due to be delivered to the UAE Armed Forces for usage by the Navy in four to five months.

"It was launched last week in Italy and has arrived to the UAE, where we will be working on the ship and its combat systems.

"The ship contains missiles, a 76mm main machine gun, a helicopter [which can be equipped based on military needs], air defence missiles and a surface to surface missile," he said. The company is also in the midst of producing 14 metre tailor-made intercept boats and a support vessel similar to Al Shareaa to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.