France's Naval Group seeking to transfer technologies, know-how to UAE

By: Hatem Hussein and Rola AlGhoul ABU DHABI, 17th February, 2019 (WAM) -- The UAE and France’s Naval Group have validated the technical specifications of two-French made Gowind navy corvettes, according to Herve Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Naval Group.

Guillo made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition, IDEX 2019, which started in the UAE capital on Sunday.

In 2017, the UAE closed a deal to buy two French-made Gowind navy corvettes, built for coastal surveillance and anti-submarine warfare.

"The UAE has strong requirements in terms of protecting their strategic assets and economic interests and we are proud that Naval Group’s Gowind corvette has been selected to fulfill these missions," Guillou added.

"Since the announcement of the deal in 2017, we have been discussing with the UAE authorities to take into account their specific requirements and to provide them with the best answer to their operational need. The Naval Group is in the final discussions for two corvettes plus potentially two more, with the UAE.

"The Naval Group has had a very significant presence in the region for many years – resulting in a number of deals in the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia."

Naval Group is a naval systems provider and integrator, one of the few companies in the world with the ability to deliver complete warships with their combat systems and all the critical equipment necessary to engage naval power in a theatre of operations. It is involved at every stage in the product life cycle, from design to in-service support.

Guillou added that the deal constitutes a first reference for Naval Group within the UAE Navy. "This important project is able to strengthen the presence and the position of our group in the region."

Elaborating on the technical specifications of the programme, he said, "In the frame of the programme, Naval Group envisions to transfer technologies and know-how to UAE institutions and to the naval ecosystem, thus developing national sovereign capabilities."

Guillo described maritime safety as a key issue in the region since "economic interests are strongly dependent on the securisation of national waters and of maritime routes. In the Middle East, the navies are facing both traditional threats but also a resurgence of asymmetric threats."

Naval Group offers a whole range of surface ships equipped with state-of-the-art systems to protect harbours and off shore facilities as well as to securing maritime routes. Its ships benefit from centuries of experience ensuring unmatched stealth and outstanding detection capabilities. They feature a robust platform, resilient systems as well as state of the art equipment.

He labelled innovation as a cornerstone of Naval Group’s strategy. "We are committed to ensuring the French Navy and our other partner navies have the means to accomplish their missions and to remain at the vanguard of technologic improvements.

"Our most innovative solution to counter asymmetric threats is our Digital Combat Bridge that allows crews to detect all objects in the close vicinity around the ship and to safely drive the ship in all situations, whether they are common (navigational, manoeuvring) or threatening (asymmetric threats), by night and day.

"Naval Group proposes the development of partnerships with the UAE Industry in order to increase its autonomy in the naval and defence fields and to develop together profitable and sustainable businesses."

On what the French company is showcasing in IDEX, the chairman said, "Naval Group is a naval systems provider and integrator, one of the few companies in the world with the ability to deliver complete warships with their combat systems and all the critical equipment necessary to engage naval power in a theatre of operations. It is involved at every stage in the product life cycle, from design to in-service support.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed/MOHD AAMIR