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IDEX 2023: UAE stands up National Guard

The Damen Stan Patrol 5009 Mudhafar at NAVDEX 2023. (Janes/Jeremy Binnie)

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA) has been renamed as the National Guard. It was revealed during the IDEX 2023 show being held in Abu Dhabi from 20 to 24 February.

Headquartered at the Camp Mahawi military base in Abu Dhabi, the CICPA included a coastguard component and a terrestrial security force tasked with protecting the emirate's energy infrastructure.

The name change was revealed by the presence of two Damen Stan 5009 patrol vessels, Misbar (P 5002) and Mudhafar (P 5003), at the NAVDEX naval area during IDEX 2023. They both had ‘National Guard' written on their sides, unlike their sister ship Shujaa (P 5004) when it was commissioned as a CICPA asset during IDEX 2021.

While Shujaa had no armament at that time, the vessels at this year's show were armed with Electro Optic Systems (EOS) remotely operated weapon stations with 30 mm guns on their bows, and a launcher for LOGIR missiles for countering swarms of fast attack craft on their sterns, as well as pintle-mounted .50 calibre machine guns.

Local defence company Edge used the old name when it announced it had received a AED175 million (USD48 million) contract to supply the CICPA with an unspecified number of 120 Fast Inshore Platform (FIP) and 160 Inshore Tactical Engagement Platform (ITEP) boats made by its Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) subsidiary.

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