Making its public debut at NAVDEX is Arialah, the first of two new multipurpose offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the UAE Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA).
Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB, Stand B-022) was awarded a contract for the two ships in December 2013. It has worked in partnership with Damen Shipyards (Stand B-028), which built both vessels at its Damen Galati shipyard in Romania. Following transit from Romania, the two OPVs have been taken in hand by ADSB’s shipyard in Abu Dhabi’s Mussafah industrial area for combat systems installation and integration prior to delivery.
The 67m Arialah OPVs will be capable of performing a number of roles, including maritime security, law enforcement, offshore patrol, and search and rescue. A key feature of the ships is the distinctive ‘sea axe’ hull, which offers exceptionally low resistance to enable superior seakeeping, and sustained high speeds in high sea states.
Damen has developed the sea axe bow design in partnership with the University of Delft, the Royal Netherlands Navy, the US Coast Guard and the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands. According to Damen, the design combines a chined hull and deep-V bottom with the sea axe bow to all but eliminate vertical acceleration and slamming as the vessel ‘cuts’ through the waves.
CICPA has specified a comprehensive weapon, sensor and command suite, for which Thales Nederland is taking major responsibility. As well as supplying its TACTICOS combat management system, SMART-S Mk 2 E/F-band surveillance radar, Mirador electro-optical (EO) system, STIR 1.2 EO Mk 2 radar/EO fire control director, Vigile radar-band electronic support measures (ESM) and Altesse communications ESM, Thales is taking overall responsibility for combat systems integration.
The Arialah ships are each armed with a BAE Systems 57mm Mk 3 gun forward, two Leonardo MARLIN 30mm gun mountings on either beam, and a single Raytheon Mk 49 Mod 2 11-cell Rolling Airframe Missile launcher amidships. Rheinmetall MASS decoy launchers are also fitted for soft-kill protection.
A flight deck is sited aft, while fast interceptor craft – with their launch and recovery equipment – are sited amidships on either beam.