Fincantieri and UAE’s EDGE Group Launch Shipbuilding JV with $434M Order

patrol ship Fincantieri
The new JV will focus on building advanced naval vessels (Fincantieri)

Published May 20, 2024 7:00 PM by The Maritime Executive


MAESTRAL was officially launched as a new shipbuilding joint venture based in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) to focus on the design and manufacture of advanced naval vessels. Plans for the new company were announced in February with the UAE’s EDGE Group holding 51 percent and Fincantieri the remaining 49 percent of the shares.

They announced the launch by immediately signing an agreement for a large order by UAE Coast Guard Forces for 10 technologically advanced 51-meter (167-foot) Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The P51MR Class 51m OPVs they reported are based on the mission-proven Saettia Class, which Fincantieri has been building for 20 years first for the Italian Coast Guard and later for the Armed Forces of Malta and the Iraqi Navy. According to Fincantieri, the new vessels will be state-of-the-art characterized by their high modularity, stability in rough sea conditions, low radar signal signature, and high operational flexibility. The order is being valued at 400 million euro (US$434 million).

The companies estimated a potential commercial pipeline of orders valued at approximately 30 billion euros ($32.5 billion) currently for MAESTRAL. The company will target non-NATO orders as well as some strategic orders placed by selected NATO member countries.

“In just three months since first announcing the creation of this unique venture with Fincantieri, we are now announcing a significant national order for these sophisticated OPVs, to be built both here at our shipyards in Abu Dhabi, and in Italy,” said His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Chairman of EDGE Group.

EDGE was launched in 2018 consolidating more than 25 entities in the UAE into five core clusters. The areas of business focus for the group include Platforms & Systems, Missiles & Weapons, Space & Cyber Technologies, Trading & Mission Support, and Homeland Security.

Fincantieri CEO and Managing Director Pierroberto Folgiero pointed to the new JV as an industrial platform of great value that will provide additional opportunities in a strategic market such as the UAE, and develop the company’s commercial capabilities. Fincantieri looks to expand its focus on commercial ships after the slowing of orders for cruise ships, which had made up more than half the group’s revenues.

Fincantieri already builds both in Italy and the United States a range of commercial ships. Its Marine Group in the United States builds for the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and government agencies. A month ago, Fincantieri Marinette Marine celebrated the keel laying of the future USS Constellation, a new class of frigate for the U.S. Navy. Fincantieri Marinette Marine received a contract in April 2020 for $795 million for the lead ship and nine additional vessels, with the Navy so far proceeding with five of the vessels and holding the options for five additional ships. If the U.S. Navy exercises all of the options, the contract is valued at more than $5.5 billion.