The Baynunah Corvette Class Program is the biggest warship construction program in the Middle East. The lead ship is named after the Baynunah region in Abu Dhabi. Six state-of-the-art warships are planned in this class.
Each of the highly advanced Baynunah Class Corvettes can be deployed for various missions, including coastal patrol and survey, helicopter operations, and peacetime patrols.
In 2004, to replace the Ardhana class patrol boat, the United Arab Emirates awarded a contract to Abu Dhabi Ship Building for the Baynunah class of corvettes. Abu Dhabi Ship Building, the Gulf’s only military ship builder, was made the Prime Contractor in Baynunah class program to ensure a smooth transfer of technology so that these very sophisticated warships are built indigenously and achieves self-reliance in warships construction. The vision is not only to meet the nation’s requirements for a fleet of modern warships but capture the available gulf market for this multi-purpose Corvette warship.
The first was built in France by Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), while the rest are being built in the UAE by Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB).
First of Class
The lead ship was launched on June 25, 2009. The First of Class (FOC) was designed and built by CMN in Cherbourg with a Transfer of Technology contract to the Prime Contractor ADSB for the construction of five more vessels at the ADSB yard.
The FOC has demonstrated impressive performance and excellent quality during the sea trials which included demonstrations of various weapons and sensors. In order to optimize efficiency and cost effectiveness of this major and sophisticated program, ADSB and CMN have decided within their close strategic industrial cooperation to complete the integration of the combat system in ADSB Abu Dhabi.
A final demonstration sea trip to mark the end of the FOC program in France was held in Cherbourg on 4 October 2011 in the presence of CNF of UAE and the handover of the Vessel took place on 11 October 2011.
The Baynunah Class vessels are 72 meter multi-mission corvettes that will be fitted with cutting edge Combat systems with the capability to perform a wide range of military operations, including defense against both air and surface threats. It is a unique class of warship with multi-mission capabilities, including costal patrol and surveillance, mine detection and avoidance, helicopter operations, as well as anti-air and anti-surface capabilities. In performing these missions, Baynunah will utilize the very least in Weapons and Sensor Technology.
The ships of this class have steel constructed hull and deck, with superstructure fabricated from aluminum. The superstructure arrangement is designed to minimize radar cross-section.
The combat system of Baynunah class corvettes is centered around a modern command and control system – IPN-S (from SELEX Sistemi Integrati).
The IPN-S will provide primary control of the major weapons systems while providing the ship's crew with a complete tactical picture combining information from ship's sensors, external communications, airborne sensors, and intelligence reports.
Primary ship sensors will include three dimensional air search and navigation radar with LPI capability. An EOMS infrared search and track weapons director will also be fitted. An Interrogation Friend or Foe (IFF) function for both radar sets will be provided.
The electronic warfare suite will include laser electronic countermeasures systems, a radar electronic support measures system (ESM) and electronic support measures and communications intelligence system will also be a part of the electronics warfare suite.
The primary anti ship weapons will be 2 x Missiles. The vessel's firepower is complimented with a single 76 mm main gun and two 27 mm side guns.
The primary air defense system is centered on a vertical missile launcher system. This system will be controlled by the IPN-S combat control system, a fire control system. Missile fire control will be supplemented by a continuous wave illuminator. The air defense missile system is augmented by a second set of surface to air missiles. These "fire and forget" missiles will be mounted on the weather fairing of the 27mm side guns.
All navigation system data will be collected and displayed through an Integrated Bridge system incorporating a laser gyro system for ship's reference and navigation. The integrated bridge system will include displays from the Navigation / LPI radar.
A complex network of integrated communications is provided and will include secure voice and data communications. This system will coordinate and provide communications and data sharing between the Baynunah vessels, other cooperating fleet vessels, land based command and control centers, and maritime patrol aircraft.
The vessel will also be fitted with a CHAFF launcher decoy system and RAM system.
Significance of Baynunah Corvette Class
The Middle East countries are strategically located which serves as the shipping route for 40 percent of the world’s oil trade and is a major commercial sea corridor. The Baynunah class of corvettes is an excellent step towards broader seaborne defense and will be a major addition to the Gulf’s Naval Force. The ship is designed to provide the navies with a multi-role Surface Vessel capable of sustained operations throughout the GCC region.
· The fourth ship of the class, the Mezyad was launched by ADSB on 16 February 2012.
· ADSB hopes to secure further orders for the class from the Saudi and Kuwaiti navies.
Abu Dhabi Ship Building serves four separate market segments:
· Naval / Military Ship Construction (10m RHIB Assault Boats to 72m Corvettes)
· Naval Ship Repairs, Refits & Upgrades (basic platform repairs to highly complex combat system upgrades)
· Commercial Ship Construction (15m Landing Craft to 50m Crew Boats)
· Commercial Ship Repairs (basic painting and blasting to replacing of major equipments)