Surface Forces: Abu Dhabi Corvettes

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May 7, 2007: Abu Dhabi is building three Baynunah class patrol boats, and has three more on order. The ships are being built in France, after ten years of research, development and negotiation. Thus ships displace 900 tons, which would make them "corvettes" in many navies. They are 236 feet long, 36 feet wide and can operate in very shallow water (as little as ten feet deep). Top speed is 56 kilometers an hour. The ships can stay out for two weeks at a time, covering 4,400 kilometers at cruising speed of 27 kilometers an hour. The crew of 45 includes an eight man contingent for the AS565 Panther helicopter. Armament includes a 76mm gun, two 30mm automatic cannon, eight Exocet anti-ship and eight Evolved Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft missiles. The ship can also carry mines. In addition to radar, the ship has a sonar for detecting underwater obstacles, as well as some types of mines. The first ship won't be launched until 2009, and will probably enter service in 2010. An additional ship will enter service every year thereafter until all are delivered. Each ship costs about $130 million. While these ships will spend most of their time assisting ships in the busy Persian Gulf, they will also hunt down smugglers. If there's a war, the likely opponent will be Iran, which has a surface fleet of inferior (to the Baynunahs) ships.

 


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