Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company (ADSB) is preparing to start work on building six missile patrol boats ordered by the United Arab Emirates navy
. William Saltzer, marketing and contracts manager at ADSB, said the firm expects to start work on the first vessel as soon as the contract was signed, which he said was expected before the end of the year. "We'll start as soon as the contract is signed. The intention is to sign before the end of this year," Saltzer said. "We are working together with the UAE navy
to finalize the contract details and conducting planning activities," he added.
A UAE military spokesman on Thursday announced that the UAE has awarded ADSB a contract to build six missile patrol boats for its navy. The official said the missile boats would be built in the company's yards in Abu Dhabi and that weapons systems
for the vessels would be chosen later. He declined to give the value of the deal but industry officials estimated that six boats complete with equipment can cost more than $400 million. ADSB said the project, known as UAE Navy Project
Baynunah, involves the design and construction of the vessels. France
's Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN) will provide the design, technology and other services to ADSB for the project, it added.
Saltzer said it would take about three years to deliver the first vessel, partly because of lead-time needed to integrate equipment on the vessel. He said the company would be able to deliver one vessel every six months after the first boat was completed. ADSB has said it was investing $50 million to quadruple the size and capabilities of its ship building facilities at Abu Dhabi's Musaffah industrial zone to enable it to support building of a number of vessels simultaneously.
The company said it began the expansion work in April last year, long before the contract was awarded.
ADSB was set up in 1995 as a joint venture between Newport News Shipbuilding
of the United States
, the Abu Dhabi government
and private UAE investors. France's CMN is in the process of acquiring a 10 percent stake of Newport News Shipbuilding's share in ADSB. - (Reuters)