French shipbuilder Naval Group launched the first Gowind corvette for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at its site in Lorient on December 4.
The launch took place after France and UAE reached a $850 million deal for the construction of two ships in the class in 2019.
It also coincided with the signing of a $19 billion mega deal for UAE’s purchase of 80 Rafale F4 fighters, and 12 H225M Caracal helicopters, as well as air-to-air and cruise missiles.
Naval Group added that the second corvette was already under construction and would be launched next year. Naval Group will also train the United Arab Emirates Navy’s crew from the equipment level up to the operational level as part of the contract.
“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,” Alain Guillou, Naval Group senior executive VP development, commented.
“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.”
The 2,700-ton corvettes being built for UAE are expected to carry MBDA’s Exocet missile and Raytheon’s Evolved Seasparrow missiles, in addition to the SETIS combat management system.
The Gowind design is a Naval Group modular solution that can serve as frigates, corvettes but also offshore patrol vessels ranging in displacement from 1,000 tons to 3,100 tons. In addition to UAE, Gowind variants are, or will be, operated by the navies of Egypt, Argentina, Malaysia, Romania and Greece.