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UAE: Locally manufactured hovercraft ready to test global waters

UAE engineers have succeeded in designing, developing and manufacturing the first amphibian hovercraft in the country, announced Khalid Siddique, Chairman of the hovercraft project in the UAE. An international patent has been registered for the hovercraft.

In an interview with the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2007 daily newsletter, Siddique lauded the support of General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, towards the project.

He said the company manufactured the first marine hovercraft of this type, which was tested in UAE waters as well as in Siberia to determine its ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates. All tests were successful.

The hovercraft will be used for tourism, coastal protection and chases. It will be an important means of transportation in the UAE, with so many islands and marine developments taking place, such as the Palm in Dubai.
The hovercraft is in great demand in the UAE and Europe, Siddique said, adding that commercial production will begin in six months.

Some parts were designed with the help of engineers from Italy, England, Germany and Russia to achieve the best specifications. He said international demand is expected to be high due to the low price of this vessel, expected to be $60,000 to $100,000, according to specifications.

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