Navy fleet expands.
The ship, Dinar, is the first of two that are being delivered to the Bahraini navy by Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) this year.
The 42m vessels are designed to carry troops and vehicles as well as be used for cargo transportation and beach landing in coastal waters.
The ship is seen as an expansion of Bahrain's naval operations, Bahrain Naval Forces Commander Brigadier General Abdulla Saeed Al Mansoori told a Press conference in Abu Dhabi.
"This is the type of landing craft that will add strategic depth to our efforts," Brigadier General Al Mansoori said.
"As we know, Bahrain consists of 33 islands so the role of the new ship will be to try to provide logistical support from those islands, back and forth, to the mainland."
The Dinar is the third of four ships to be delivered by ADSB under a contract signed in 2008.
Yesterday's launch follows the handover of two 16m Fast Landing Craft, ahead of schedule, at the end of last year.
The smaller boats, built at ADSB's state-of-the-art Composite Production Facility, are capable of speeds in the 35-40 knot range and are designed for rapid deployment of personnel and supplies.
They are already in operation around Bahraini waters.
The 42m ships, the second of which is nearing completion, were designed and produced at ADSB headquarters in Mussaffah under a specially-created project management team, said officials.
Work was also overseen by a delegation from the Royal Bahrain Naval Forces, which helped achieve the technical and quality standards required.
The company previously built and delivered two similar vessels that are now in service with the UAE Navy.
Brig Gen Al Mansoori said that the Bahraini Navy was committed to supporting such a valuable industry.
"The ship-building industry is very complex and we believe we are part of it. Therefore, we feel we have to support this industry locally and regionally," he said.
"This is not a new relationship we are developing, but it is one that has been in existence for a very long time," Brig Gen Al Mansoori added.
Officials said that they were not at liberty to discuss the price of the new ship, but Brig Gen Al Mansoori said he was happy to concede that it was 'reasonable'.
ADSB chairman Homaid Al Shemmari said that the latest delivery to Bahrain was proof of the company's standing in the region.
"The delivery of the 42m vessel to the Royal Bahrain Naval Force is a testament to the world-class expertise and capabilities of Abu Dhabi Ship Building," he said.
"It reinforces our position as the preferred supplier and specialised service provider among military institutions in the GCC.
"Moreover, ADSB continues to expand its know-how and technological expertise to cater to evolving customer demands and requirements.
"This is particularly in line with growing investments in various naval facilities and vessels across the region."
ADSB, which was founded in 1996, operates the most modern naval shipyard in the Gulf, added Mr Al Shemmari.
Its client base includes navies, coastguards and other military, paramilitary and commercial vessel operators across the GCC region.
Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News
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