Surface Forces: January 4, 2004


United Arab Emirates navy has finally signed a contract for a local ship yard (Abu Dhabi Ship Building) to build six corvettes for about $90 million each. The Baynunah class ships are based on the French BR70 Corvette design. The 230 foot long, 900 ton ship will be armed with eight MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles and eight Evolved Sea Sparrow surface to air Missiles. The Exocets, with a range of some 70 kilometers, carry a 363 pound warhead. The Sea Sparrow has a range of some 55 kilometers. There is also a 76mm gun that can fire one round a second, with the 13 pound shells capable of hitting targets 16 kilometers away. The ship has radar and heat imaging sensors, but no sonar. A light helicopter is also carried, with a hanger in the rear of the ship. The ship is highly automated, with a crew of about sixty carried, although the ship can be operated by fewer than 50. Cruising speed is 27 kilometers and maximum range on fuel carried is 4,300 kilometers. Enough food and other supplies are carried to keep the ship at sea for 14 days at a time. 


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