The United Arab Emirates ordered in 2019 two Gowind corvettes to be built in France by Naval Group at its Lorient shipyard. The corvette launched today is named Bani Yas (P110). The second vessel is set to be launched next year.
In its press release, Naval Group explains that it will train the crews of the UAE Navy, from the basic use of the ship to its operational use. This training will start in France and will continue in the Arabian Gulf with collective training sessions on operational scenarios in the various fields of combat.
Alain Guillou, Naval Group Senior Executive Vice President Development said:
“We are honored to welcome UAE officials to our shipyard to witness the launch of their first Gowind corvette. These two combat ships will provide the UAE Navy with new naval capabilities. This event marks a very important milestone for the program as the country approaches its 50th anniversary. The Bani Yas program illustrates Naval Group’s ability to provide state-of-the-art capabilities to meet specific customer requirements with the integration of weapons and sensors through its SETIS Combat Management System (CMS).”
It was previously announced that French company iXblue would supply its Marins navigation systems and Netans data distribution & processing units for these UAE Navy corvettes.
About Gowind Corvettes
The Gowind 2500 corvette is 102 metres long with a maximum width of 16 meters and a draft of 5.4 meters. The displacement at full load is around 2,800 tons. The corvette is manned by a crew of 65 sailors and the accommodation on board can accommodate up to 15 special forces operators. The aviation installations allow the use of a 10-ton class helicopter.
The Combined diesel-electric and diesel-mechanical (CODED) propulsion system consist in two diesel engines (MTU) and two electric engines (Leroy-Somer) for a propulsive power of 10 MW. This allows the corvettes a maximum speed exceeding 25 knots. Their maximum range at 15 knots would be between 3,700 and 4,500 nautical miles.
The first customer of the Gowind type corvette is the Royal Malaysian Navy which awarded a contract in late 2011 to local shipbuilder Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) and Naval Group (then DCNS) for the local construction of six “Littoral Combat Ships”. The Maharaja Lela-class frigates (also known as Second Generation Patrol Vessel – SGPV) are an enlarged version of the Gowind type corvette.
The contract for the acquisition of four Gowind 2500 corvettes (with an option for two more) by Egypt was signed shortly before June 3, 2014 for 1 billion euro, a sum which did not include the weapon systems which were ordered in two separate contracts: one for 400 million euros for MBDA (VL-MICA, MM40 Block 3), the other for approximately 100 to 200 million euros for Naval group (torpedoes). The overall cost of the program is therefore between 1.5 and 1.7 billion euros. The El Fateh program for the four corvettes included the construction and docking of the head-of-series at Naval Group’s Lorient shipyard (in Brittany). The first steel cut of the ENS El Fateh took place in April 2015, the launch on 17 September 2017 and the commissioning on 22 September 2017. The three other corvettes were assembled at Alexandria Shipyard under technology transfer with Naval Group. The launches of ENS Port Said (September 7, 2018), ENS El Moez (May 12, 2019) and ENS Luxor (May 14, 2020) took place regularly and in a staggered manner. It took 61 months between first steel cut of the first corvette and the launch of the fourth ship in the program.
Following Egypt, the United Arab Emirates has signed a contract on 25 March 2019 for 750 million Euros (USD850m) for two Gowind 2500 type corvettes with options for two more, to be built in partnership with local shipyard Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB). They will be equipped with Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system, MBDA’s Exocet missile, Raytheon’s Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.
The Romanian authorities announced in July 2019 the selection of Naval Group and its partner Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) for the programme to build four new Gowind multi-mission corvettes, to modernize the T22 frigates and to create a maintenance centre and a training centre.
Bani Yas-class corvette specifications (as provided by Naval Group):
• Length : 102m
• Width : 16m
• Displacement : 2800t
• Top speed : 25,5 knots
• Total accommodation : 95 personnel
• Endurance : 21 days
• Propulsion : CODLOD
• Helicopter : 10 tons class
• UAV : S-100
• RHIB : 2x 7 meters
Based on a scale model unveiled during NAVDEX 2021, the Bani Yas-class will be quite heavily armed, including with some multiple rocket launchers, likely for coastal fire support: