Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilding company, has begun construction of the first of two Falaj 2 stealth vessels, for the United Arab Emirates Navy.

The 55m-long Falaj 2, with a beam of 8.6m, can cruise at a speed of 20kt and can accomodate a crew of 28.

The vessel’s stealth structure makes it difficult to track and highly flexible, capable of carrying out a range of mission including patrol and control operations, and self-defence from air and surface threats.

The UAE Navy signed a contract with Fincantieri in January for the two ships, which included an option for two sister ships with transfer of technology.

Construction work will be carried out at the Muggiano shipyard (La Spezia) with delivery scheduled for the second half of 2012.