United Arab Emirates – 27 February 2023 – Al Fattan and Thales, two leading companies in the maritime domain, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during IDEX/NAVDEX 2023 to offer the next-generation mine countermeasures system to the United Arab Emirates’ Naval Forces. This partnership aims to provide a unique “system of systems” based on unmanned assets that addresses the full range of configurations and needs of Navies, meeting the requirements of safety, flexibility, swiftness, interoperability, and evolution.
Al Fattan Ship Industry was established in 1987, under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, who is the main supporter for this Industry. The company has fully established as a world-class shipyard since 2009, expanding footprint in the modern shipbuilding industry with state-of-the-art facility in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Al Fattan has undertaken major retrofit and upgrade programs, systems integrations on various types of vessels including military & training ships, commercial & oilfield support vessels.
Thales, a global leader in high technology systems including mine countermeasures, has developed a unique and trusted technology designed to strengthen the protection of maritime domains, ensuring freedom of civil navigation and limit human exposure to threats.
Mine warfare operations are evolving towards unmanned, remote or autonomous modes. The next generation of drones, systems and collaborative intelligence software is expected to substantially decrease operators’ workload to deliver on the mission, with an improved level of performance and confidence. As such, the navies need to strengthen their mine warfare capabilities by reinforcing their existing platforms with modern, robust, mature, and unmanned solutions.
The breakthrough unmanned mine countermeasure systems developed by Thales include several subsystems such as a cutting-edge sonar (SAMDIS) offering unique Single Path Multi View capability to identify and classify threats. The SAMDIS sonar is embedded in the Towed Synthetic Aperture Multiviews (TSAM) vehicle operated from the USV and/or carried by AUV. The USV can also carry a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to neutralize threats previously identified and classified. The entire system is supervised remotely by operators working from a Portable Operational Centre (POC). This POC can control up to three systems at sea simultaneously thanks to the mine counter measure M-Cube mission management system as well as MiMap, a mission analysis tool. This allows operators to analyse sonar data either in real-time or record for post-mission analysis. MiMap enables to efficiently investigate the seabed, classify and localize contacts and report changes from the last known state of an area. Combined to MiMap, M-Cube reduces the cognitive load of commanders and operators, helping them to make effective and efficient decision in a harsh threat environment.
Al Fattan will partner with Thales’s local entity Thales Emarat Technologies that already develop key technologies within the UAE, contributing to the development of local skills and capabilities in the defense industry.
Al Fattan is one of the fastest-growing partner of integrated offshore support, vessels, logistics, and marine services in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, thus the best partner to deploy the Thales Mine Counter Measures toolboxes from a dedicated mothership.
“This partnership between Thales and AI Fattan will combine our expertise and technologies in the naval defense field to better serve Naval Forces in the UAE. Through our local entity Thales Emarat Technologies, we are committed to working with our partners in the region to empower our customers and enable them to develop sovereign high-technology solutions.” Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Vice President of Thales Middle East.
“This successful strategic partnership between Al Fattan and Thales is a notable achievement. We are very proud to partner with Thales to provide the most advanced technology on Mine Counter Measure systems with unique and sovereign technology capabilities, in line with the Vision of His Highness.” Khaled Mohamed Rashed Al Rumaithi, CEO and Owner of Al Fattan.