The first of two stealth patrol vessels for the UAE Navy, Ganthoot, has been launched by Fincantieri shipyard as a part of the navy’s Falaj 2-class programme.

The patrol vessel is being built under a contract signed in January 2010 for the two ships, which includes an option for two additional vessels along with transfer of technology to a local shipyard. As part of the deal, Selex Sistemi Integrati will provide IPN-S command and control systems, NA 30S fire-control systems, KRONOS 3D radar systems and SIR-M secondary radar systems.

Finmeccanica will also integrate the combat systems and a full stealth version of the Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun into the Falaj 2-class stealth patrol vessels. In addition, SELEX Communications will also supply a secure communications system, including the voice component in HF and V/UHF frequencies and the data and messaging component.

The 55m-long, 8.6m-wide Falaj 2-class patrol boats can accommodate a crew of 28 and cruise at a maximum speed of 20 knots. The vessel’s stealth structure makes it difficult to track and its highly flexible design enables it to carry out a range of missions including patrol, surveillance and control operations, and self-defence from air and surface threats.

The highly flexible and versatile Falaj 2 vessels have high standards of accommodation and safety in both domestic and international waters. The Falaj 2 incorporates a turret of either 57mm or 76mm, two small cannons, teleoperated anti-ship missiles and a surface-to-air,short-range (six-cell vertical launch) missile system, and decoy launchers.

Delivery of the frigate is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2012.