Abu Dhabi Starts Work on Landing Craft

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Staff Colonel Hasan Ahmed Mohammed, Head of the Planning Department, Royal Bahrain Naval Force and ADSB CEO Bill Saltzer with ADSB management and employees inside the first hull block constructed for the landing craft.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) has begun work on the first of two steel landing craft being built for the Royal Bahrain Naval Forces. The contract for the 137.8 ft vessels was won against stiff competition from international shipyards, further confirming ADSB’s position as the region’s leading provider of support services to GCC navies. It is ADSB’s first new building contract for Bahrain and also includes two 62.5 ft Sea keeper landing craft constructed in composite materials.

A traditional keel laying ceremony was held at ADSB’s shipyard at Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, to mark the start of work, attended by Staff Colonel Hasan Ahmed Mohammed, Head of the Planning Department, Royal Bahrain Naval Force, who praised the standard of construction at ADSB.

The 137.8 ft vessels, based on vessels in service with the UAE Navy, are designed for troops and vehicle or cargo transportation and for beach landing in Gulf waters. The Bahrain vessels will be the first built using new Aveva Marine 12 software which enhances ADSB’s capability in production engineering and brings greater efficiency to the shipbuilding process.

The hardware, software and training of the system represents a Dh2 million investment that provides ADSB with a state of the art capability to develop designs from scratch using the very latest computer aided design (CAD) tools.

The first steel landing craft is due for delivery in July next year and the second in February 2011. Meanwhile work is also well underway on the two Sea Keepers for Bahrain with delivery scheduled for September this year.  The vessels, capable of speed in excess of 30 knots can carry two Hummer-sized vehicles and are designed for the rapid supply of vehicles and equipment.

While this is the first Bahrain contract for the building of new vessels, ADSB is currently in the final stages of a two-year contract to refit and upgrade ten patrol boats for the Bahrain Coast Guard. When it was signed in 2007, it was the shipyard’s first major refit project on Coast Guard boats from another GCC country.

The contract provides for the complete refurbishment of the 18-year-old boats which are made of composite materials. The work includes new propulsion and auxiliary machinery, accommodation facilities and navigational equipment and is undertaken at ADSB’s highly advanced composite workshop, the largest facility of its type in the region.

Work on six boats has already been completed and the final four boats will be delivered by October this year.

Landing craft specifications:
Construction    Steel
Length    137.8 ft
Beam     32.8 ft
Draft     11.5 ft (full load)
Range    1,200 nautical miles
Deadweight    225 tonnes
Accommodation    Three cabins for officers and crew and seating for 136 troops

Sea Keeper specifications:
Construction    Composite
Length    52.5 ft
Beam     12.8 ft
Draft    2.3 ft (full load)
Cargo load    8.5 tonnes max
Range    320 nautical miles
Propulsion    Twin Rolls Royce FF Waterjets powered by two Caterpillar marine diesels

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