The first Gowind corvette ordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy from French shipbuilder Naval Group was launched on 4 December.
The order was placed in 2017 for the construction of two Gowind corvettes. The Bani Yas vessel is a multi-mission surface combatant providing multiple simultaneous capabilities and designed to achieve the full spectrum of naval defense operations and maritime security roles.
According to Naval Group, the firm will train the UAE Navy’s crew from the equipment level up to the operational level. Starting in France, this preparation will continue with team-building and practice on operational scenarios in every warfare area in the Gulf.
“We are honored to welcome the UAE representatives to our shipyard to witness the launching of their first Gowind corvette. These two surface combatants will provide the UAE Navy with new naval capabilities and this event marks a very important milestone for the program close to the highly symbolic day of the UAE 50th anniversary. The Bani Yas program illustrates Naval Group’s capability to deliver state of the art capabilities to meet specific requirements of its customers with the integration of diversified sensors and weapons through its SETIS Combat Management System,” Alain Guillou, Naval Group Senior Executive Vice President Development, stated.
The Gowind 2500 corvettes are 102 meters long with a maximum width of 16 meters and a draft of 5.4 meters, featuring a displacement of 2,800 tonnes. They can be armed with weapon systems tailored to the country’s mission requirements. The weapon systems include water cannons, 12.7mm remotely controlled machine guns, 20mm machine gun, 76mm naval gun on the forward gun deck, anti-ship missiles, ship self-defense system, and electronic warfare suite.
The first navy which ordered the units is the Royal Malaysian Navy which will have all of its six ships built locally by the Malaysian Boustead Naval Shipyard with technical assistance from Naval Group. Malaysia launched its first Gowind ship in August 2017.
Egyptian Navy has placed an order for four Gowind 2500 corvettes, and the first vessel was delivered in September 2017.
Egypt’s 102-meter corvette comes equipped with the SETIS combat system and the “Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM)” in addition to a 76mm Oto Melara gun, vertical launch cells for MBDA’s MICA missile and torpedo launchers. Displacing 2,600 tonnes, the ship is crewed by 80 persons (including the helicopter detachment) and reaches a speed of 25 knots, according to the company.