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IDEX 2023: ADSB to build corvettes for Angola

A computer-generated image of the BR71 MK II corvette design. (Edge)

Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), a subsidiary of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Edge Group, will build three 71 m corvettes and an unspecified number of smaller vessels for the Angolan Navy under a EUR1 billion (USD1.05 billion) deal announced at IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi.

“Signing a EUR1 billion defence export deal represents a momentous achievement for Edge as well as ADSB,” said Khalid al-Breiki, Edge's president for platforms and systems. “This demonstrates our strategic approach and steadfast commitment to increasing national exports in line with the UAE leadership's directive.”

The corvettes will be based on ADSB's BR71 MK II design, which is an improved version of the six Baynunah-class ships that French company CMN delivered to the UAE Navy with ADSB's assistance.

Concept images and models show the new corvette armed with a 76 mm main gun, eight MBDA VL MICA surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in vertical launchers in front of the bridge, eight MBDA Exocet anti-ship missiles amidships, and two MBDA SIMBAD-RC launchers for Mistral SAMs on top of the helicopter hangar.

While the systems and weapons that will be fitted to the Angolan ships were not disclosed, ADSB CEO David Massey said the corvettes will be highly advanced ships that are capable of performing multiple types of missions to defend Angola's waters.

It was also announced during IDEX that ADSB had signed an agreement with Elettronica, an Italian company that contributed to the Baynunah programme, to supply their electronic warfare systems.

Angola's official news agency reported that minister of defence João Ernesto dos Santos attended IDEX and discussed increasing military co-operation with his Emirati counterpart, Mohammed Ahmed al-Bowardi, but did not mention the corvette order.

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